Disney VFX artists vote to unionize

Walt Disney Studios

After accusations of abuse and overwork spread throughout the industry, Disney visual effects they voted to unionize. visual effects specialists Studio Marvelsubsidiary of Walt Disney Studios, voted to unionize earlier this month.

The studio that produces films and series based on the Marvel Cinematic Universe has been accused of abuse by employees. Their move to unionization was expected to set a precedent for change in the industry, and the side effects are already being seen.

Just weeks after the Marvel VFX workers voted to unionize, Walt Disney’s visual effects teams followed suit. According to Variety, Disney VFX workers have taken a significant step towards unionization by demanding an election through the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). More than 80 percent of the 18 members of the VFX team working directly at Walt Disney Pictures have submitted permits confirming their intent to form a union. Mark Patch, IATSE VFX Organizer, and Matthew D. Loeb, IATSE International President, made the following statements:

Patches: Today, the brave visual effects professionals at Walt Disney Pictures have overcome the fear and silence that has kept our community from speaking out for decades. Since the vast majority of these teams are calling for an end to “the way visuals have always been,” this is a clear sign that our campaign is not about one studio or one company. It’s about people in the VFX industry using the tools at our disposal to improve themselves and pave the best path for us.

Loeb: The determination of these visual effects specialists is not only commendable, but also revolutionary. Their collective action against the status quo represents a game changer at this critical time for our industry. The chorus of voices calling for change is unprecedented and demonstrates that our united movement is not about one company, but is setting a precedent for dignity, respect and justice for all.

Ever since the movies star Wars in the 1970s and 1980s, the industry was never organized within a union. This continued until the Marvel VFX workers voted to unionize earlier this month, the first in Hollywood that was expected to set an industry-changing precedent. The Disney-owned studio has been criticized by many VFX workers who have spoken out about Marvel’s poor working conditions, including unfair compensation and excessive workloads to meet impossible deadlines.

Disney already has a different reputation for bullying visual effects workers, even though they helped make films with billions of dollars in budgets, like The beauty and the Beast, Aladdin AND The Lion King – from which the studio received huge profits. As part of their unionization efforts, Disney VFX workers make reasonable demands that include fair compensation for all hours worked, adequate health care, and retirement benefits. These requests reflect the growing demands for improvement in the visual effects industry.

Disney VFX workers have voted to unionize as writers and actors unions WGA and SAG-AFTRA continue to strike for fair pay and better working conditions.

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