In the election held by the National Labour Relations Board, the visual effects employees at Marvel Studios have unanimously voted to unionised with the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE). This is the first time a unit of VFX workers has unionised with IATSE, reported Hollywood Reporter.
The IATSE and Disney/Marvel had reached a stipulated election agreement last month, and the voting closed on September 12. There was a high turnout from the roughly 50 Marvel employees, which includes jobs such as VFX coordinators and data wranglers, announced IATSE.
In a statement, Mark Patch, VFX organiser for IATSE, said, “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.
““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!’”
A supermajority of the workers had signed authorisation cards to indicate they wished to be represented by the union. The next step for the union is to engage in collective bargaining negotiations with the studio to draft a union contract, reported Hollywood Reporter.
Around 18 workers in the VFX department at Walt Disney Pictures are also voting for the unionisation. The vote, which began on Friday, will go on till October 2. The IATSE now aims to form a new, broad national VFX Local. It hopes to launch it by the end of the year.