In a landmark decision, Marvel’s VFX artists have unanimously opted to form a union under the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE). This move, overseen by the National Labor Relations Board, makes them the first exclusively VFX team to unionize. The development follows mounting complaints about gruelling workloads and tight schedules on Marvel’s numerous visual effects-heavy films.
The process for this historic unionization started on August 7, with a petition from a group of more than 50 employees. Voting took place between August 21 and September 11, with the final count on September 12 showing unanimous support for the move. Considering Marvel’s penchant for VFX-laden mega-hits and their frequent releases, the decision seems far from surprising. IATSE VFX organizer Mark Patch has already stated the monumental achievement.
“Today, VFX workers at Marvel Studios spoke with a unanimous, collective voice, demanding fair pay for their hours, healthcare, a safe and sustainable working environment, and respect for their work. 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!’” Read More: The Complete Guide to Watching The Hunger Games Movies in Order
This unionization is part of a broader trend towards industry solidarity. While the VFX artists celebrate their win, other sectors, including writers and actors, represented by WGA and SAG-AFTRA, continue fighting for improved working conditions. It’s a turbulent time in Hollywood, with studios opting to delay releases rather than addressing labour demands.
What Makes This Unionization Vote Significant?
The significance of this move can’t be overstated. Artists involved in major Marvel projects, from “Guardians of the Galaxy” to the upcoming “Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse,” have criticized working conditions in the past. With this unionization, their rights and welfare are more likely to be safeguarded in the future. Source