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Marvel Studios VFX workers have unanimously voted to unionize

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Marvel Studios’ visual effects (VFX) workers have made a resounding and unanimous decision to embrace unionization, marking a significant milestone in the entertainment industry. This historic move comes following an election facilitated by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) and represents the first-ever unionization of an entire unit comprising VFX professionals under the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE).

With 41 eligible voters in the mix, the outcome is nothing short of striking: all 32 who participated cast their votes in favor of the union. This resounding endorsement of unionization reflects the shared concerns and aspirations of these VFX workers.

Mark Patch, a VFX organizer representing IATSE, passionately articulated the significance of this decision. He noted, “Today, VFX workers at Marvel Studios spoke with a unanimous, collective voice, demanding fair pay for the hours they work, healthcare, a safe and sustainable working environment, and respect for the work they do.” The message is loud and clear: these workers are determined to secure the rights and benefits they deserve.

Recent reports have shed light on the immense demands placed on Marvel’s visual effects professionals. As the Marvel Cinematic Universe expanded to include not only blockbuster movies but also numerous Disney+ TV shows, the workload intensified. An anecdote shared by a worker in January highlighted the staggering expectations. Marvel, it seems, was requesting a mind-boggling 3,000 feature-quality VFX shots to be completed for a 10-hour TV series within an extraordinarily tight timeframe. This dwarfs the VFX requirements of their superhero movies, which typically hover around 1,600 shots. The conditions outlined for this worker were nothing short of grueling—an 18-hour workday, seven days a week, for a solid three months. Understandably, the offer was declined.

With this unionization vote, Marvel Studios now faces the obligation to engage in negotiations with the union’s bargaining committee in good faith. The key issues on the table include fair compensation, healthcare coverage, workplace safety, and the acknowledgment of the valuable contributions made by these VFX artists. While negotiation dates have not been set as of now, the momentum gained through this vote underscores the urgency of addressing these concerns.

Additionally, it’s worth noting that another unit of VFX workers under the Disney umbrella may soon follow in Marvel’s footsteps. Walt Disney Pictures VFX workers are currently in the midst of their own NLRB election, with results expected on October 2. This suggests a broader trend within the industry, where workers are asserting their rights and advocating for improved working conditions.

In summary, the unanimous vote by Marvel Studios’ VFX workers to unionize represents a watershed moment for those who work behind the scenes to bring our favorite superhero adventures to life. It underscores the importance of fair treatment and recognition in an industry known for its demanding schedules and high expectations. As the unionization movement gains traction, it will be fascinating to see how the entertainment industry evolves to meet the aspirations of its dedicated workforce.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Unionization

What is the significance of Marvel Studios’ VFX workers voting to unionize?

The unanimous vote by Marvel Studios’ VFX workers to unionize is a pivotal moment in the entertainment industry. It signifies their collective demand for fair pay, improved working conditions, healthcare benefits, and respect for their contributions.

What led to the decision to unionize?

Reports indicated that Marvel’s expanding slate of projects, including Disney+ TV shows, placed immense pressure on VFX workers. They were faced with demanding schedules and workloads, which prompted them to seek union representation to address their concerns.

What are the key issues to be addressed in negotiations?

The primary issues to be discussed in negotiations include fair compensation for VFX work, access to healthcare, ensuring a safe and sustainable work environment, and the recognition of the valuable role played by VFX artists in the industry.

What happens next for Marvel Studios and the unionized VFX workers?

Marvel Studios is now obliged to engage in negotiations with the union’s bargaining committee. The goal is to establish a mutually beneficial contract that addresses the workers’ concerns. While specific negotiation dates are yet to be scheduled, this vote sets the stage for constructive dialogue.

Is this unionization movement unique to Marvel Studios?

No, this movement may extend beyond Marvel Studios. Walt Disney Pictures VFX workers are currently conducting their own NLRB election, with results expected soon. This suggests a broader industry trend where workers are asserting their rights and advocating for improved conditions.

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1 comment

MovieManiac55 September 14, 2023 - 3:52 am

Marvel pushin’ em too hard, not surprised. they deserve fair treatment tho.


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