What Did You Think Of The IBEW Meeting?

Reactions are coming in from todays meeting. It was quite a good number of people that showed up (40-50) on such little notice. Email me or comment below on what your thoughts are.

I will be posting my thoughts and information on what the IATSE plans to do since they have had a vfx union in the works for a few months now.

I have to agree with this comment that I will repost here:

–  I love and appreciate IBEW’s outreach and holding of meetings (ARE YOU LISTENING TAG!?)

–  I was not impressed at all by their knowledge of the VFX industry and felt uneasy about the possibly of being represented by them when they seemed to know so little.

– The main guy talking (main so cal rep) gave me a bad impression…he seemed to not be really listening to the questions asked of him and kept giving either vague or indirect answers a lot. People had to ask/rephrase 2 or 3 times to get him to address the questions

– The health benefits between them and IATSE are exactly the same since they’re all in the same film industry fund

– Someone asked the difference between them and The Animation Guild (IATSE) and essentially he said They care and make an effort and go out, while IATSE (TAG) doesn’t.  Aside from that comment, which left a bad taste in my mouth, it troubled me he didn’t know anything about the other major source of representation in the vfx industry.

– A few people expressed that the fact that the IBEW was out there holding meetings putting forth an effort was a big enough difference for them.  And I agree with that sentiment.  What good is a other longer standing organization if they don’t put forth the effort?  TAG needs to get on their game and start holding meetings…letting people know they exist and have ACTUAL  experience in VFX/Animation industry.

– Essentially the gist of the meeting was that they’ll keep holding meetings and hopefully  people keep coming and bringing more people.  But that union representation was going to have to be initiated and organized from within by the artists and then they would come in at the very end once they had 65% of the company signed on rep cards.

– There was a rough plan set for beginning of Dec for the next meeting.  I’ll be there.  It was great to see other smart dedicated artists with the passion to  fix the things that are broken.  I have some hope now.  I just hope the IBEW had a bit more knowledge of the industry


3 Responses to What Did You Think Of The IBEW Meeting?

  1. Nuclear says:

    I was left with a similar impression. Though I do think TAG seems like a better fit, and I was also disturbed by the poor communication skills of our hosts, I felt encouraged by the simple fact that the IBEW was there to give us a forum and support our efforts, and I made a comment to that effect in the meeting.

    It seems an odd pairing to say the least, but I’m trying to bear in mind that this kind of a movement will have to come from within, and that we will have artist representatives who will be at the negotiating table. What we need is an organization who knows how to channel this kind energy in to real action, and I did get the feeling that IBEW was genuinely interested in fulfilling that role.

  2. DN says:

    My feelings are very similar,
    I’m extremely grateful the IBEW put in the time and effort to organize this meeting. They seem eager and willing to fight for us, which is always a good thing.

    I’m not sure if anybody else got that feeling but I felt that their rhetoric seemed a little belligerent. I don’t think shoving the idea of a unionized industry down the Vfx studios’ throat is the right approach here. This needs to be an attractive thing for both the workers and the employers, simply because we are not necessarily facing multi-billion dollar corporations, most of us we are employed by Vfx houses who have seen their profit margins plummet and more often than not are struggling to keep their doors open. I felt that the IBEW seemed used to fighting against the big movie studios but would not necessarily know how to approach a VFX house.
    That’s why I was so glad someone like Bill Taylor took the time to attend and give us his perspective both from an artist and employer’s point of view.

    I have to say this is a very exciting step, that hopefully will snowball into something great for the entire industry. Thank you to all involved in organizing this!

    • Paul says:

      I think a lot of the issue is communication. There is an upside to both the employee and the VFX studio. The reason that the profit margins are so low is that the studios have all the VFX houses fighting it out until the winner left standing ends up doing the work for a FRACTION of the actual cost.

      IBEW bring negotiation strength to the table. Once they have confidence that there is a need then they will bring people on staff from our community to work on the contracts and be our rep within IBEW.

      I am curious to see how this will all work out.

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