Marvel VFX Workers Unanimously Vote to Unionize With IATSE

In a historic move, Marvel Studios’ visual effects workers unanimously voted in favor of unionizing with the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) in an election held by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), the company announced Wednesday.

This marks the first time a unit of solely VFX workers has unionized with IATSE.

The Marvel Studios workers initially filed for the election on Aug. 7, and votes were cast and collected between Aug. 21 and Sept. 11. During the count on Sept. 12, all votes were in favor of unionizing with IATSE and zero were against.

“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,” Mark Patch, VFX organizer for IATSE, said in a statement. “There could be no stronger statement highlighting the overwhelming need for us to continue our work and bring union protections and standards to all VFX workers across the industry. And there could be no stronger example of the courage and solidarity of these workers than each and every one of them declaring ‘union YES!’”

The vote comes at a time when Marvel movies, like this year’s lukewarm “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania,” and other special effects-heavy blockbusters, like “Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse,” have been under fire for the large workload and tight deadlines placed on VFX teams.

So far, Marvel Studios is the only in-house VFX team unionized with IATSE, but Walt Disney Pictures VFX staffers recently moved to unionize in late August.

“This is historic and I’m glad to be part of it,” Thomas Barnard, VFX coordinator at Marvel, said in a statement. “Not only will this radically change the game by increasing the quality of storytelling through our work, it’s also a huge step forward for taking care of the unsung individuals who helped to build the industry.”

The next step for the union is to engage in collective bargaining negotiations with Marvel Studios execs in order to draft a contract that addresses the workers’ needs. As of now, negotiation dates have yet to be scheduled.

The unionization vote comes amid the ongoing WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes, as the guilds continue to seek fair contracts with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers.

“Today’s count demonstrates the unprecedented demand for unionization across new sectors of the entertainment industry is very real,” IATSE International President Matthew D. Loeb said. “To these VFX workers, I congratulate you on your historic victory. Your bravery, determination, and unity are a beacon for workers not just in VFX, not just in entertainment, but workers in every industry across this country and beyond. You will enter negotiations with Marvel and Disney with the full backing and support of our 170,000 strong alliance. Your fight is our fight.”

Read More About:

Source: Read Full Article