Disney Animation Workers Vote to Unionize
Workers at Walt Disney Animation Studios have just completed a union vote, and the results are in. 63 employees voted to join the Animation Guild. Five voted against.
The news comes in the wake of the SAG-AFTRA and WGA strikes, both of which probably helped to embolden animators at Disney to fight for better wages, more fair conditions, and overall just a better relationship with the studio that isn’t quite so one-dimensional. Not only were the SAG-AFTRA and WGA strikes an important precursor to this decision, but there was also the unionization of VFX workers from Disney and Marvel. According to Variety, those who were in the group of workers include “production coordinators, production managers and production supervisors.”
When 2/3 of a lot of the movies coming out from Disney are filmed mostly in a warehouse with a green screen, VFX artists are pulling a ton of weight. Their treatment has been discussed for a long time, especially with the rise of Marvel and Star Wars as Disney's main revenue generators. Luckily, they'll be able to bargain as a group for changes that'll make their lives easier as a group now. They'll also have the ability to go on strike when it seems like that's the only way forward.
While these sectors of the entertainment world have made some incredible progress, there’s still much to be done in this industry. Many who work on commercials or other smaller productions aren't protected by union membership. There are also likely to be new challenges that arise as AI becomes a more prevalent part of the creative process.