Marvel Studios’ visual effects paid off in a historic move, with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) voting unanimously to unionize 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 VFX-only unit has unionized with IATSE.
Marvel Studios employees first applied for the election on August 7, and votes were cast and collected between August 21 and September 11. During the count on September 12, all votes were in favor of unionizing with IATSE, while zero votes were against. .
“Today, VFX workers at Marvel Studios unanimously spoke with a collective voice and demanded fair pay for the hours they work, healthcare, a safe and sustainable work environment, and respect for the work they do,” said IATSE VFX organizer Mark Patch. , he said in a statement. “There could be no stronger statement highlighting the great need for us to continue our work and bring union protections and standards to all VFX workers in the industry. And the courage and solidarity of these workers, each of them saying ‘YES to the union!’ There can be no stronger example than saying. Other special effects-heavy blockbusters such as “Quantumania” and “Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse” have come under criticism for the huge workload and tight deadlines given to visual effects teams.
So far, Marvel Studios is the only in-house VFX team affiliated with IATSE, but Walt Disney Pictures’ VFX workers recently moved to unionize in late August.
“This is a historic event and I’m happy to be a part of it,” Marvel’s VFX coordinator Thomas Barnard said in a statement. “Not only will this fundamentally change the game by improving the quality of storytelling through our work, it is also a huge step forward in engaging the unsung individuals who helped create the industry.”
The union’s next step will be to begin collective bargaining talks with Marvel Studios executives to draft a contract that meets workers’ needs. As of now, negotiation dates have not yet been scheduled.
The unionization vote took place amid ongoing WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes; The guilds continue to seek fair contracts with the Motion Picture and Television Producers Alliance.
“Today’s count shows that the unprecedented demand for unionization in new sectors of the entertainment industry is very real,” said IATSE International President Matthew D. Loeb. “To these VFX guys, I congratulate you on your historic victory. Your courage, determination and unity are a beacon for workers in every industry, not just in VFX, not just in entertainment, but in this country and beyond. You will enter into negotiations with Marvel and Disney with the full backing and support of our 170,000 strong alliance. “Your struggle is our struggle.”