One of the worst kept secrets in the VFX industry is that the IATSE has been meeting with VFX artists at various facilities. I thought I’d take the opportunity to get everyone to spread the word about this meeting:
Representatives from the IATSE are planning a meeting of employees from Hydraulx
Thursday, December 9, at 7:30pm
O’Briens Bar and Restaurant on Main Street in Santa Monica.
Reps from the IA, (who have been holding meetings with employees from several VFX companies), will be present to answer questions and disseminate information regarding their interest in representing VFX artists throughout the industry.
I know many of you are shocked to hear that. Why would anyone want to unionize one of the best vfx companies on the face of the earth?
The reason why I am compelled to bring this up is because one of the owners of Hydraulx may have commented on my Skyline article. I hope (and pray) that this is some sort of fake because if it really is a comment from a VFX facility owner, then we have got some major issues. I’ve reposted the comment from here:
What is the 1099 scam you guys keep talking of? U act likely the artists don’t want to manage their own taxes as contractors. If u know what u are doing, U can the money go further. It seems there is some fallacy that hydraulx forces artists to this. That’s bs, and doesn’t make sense. Why would they care? Taxes either come out up front (employee) or later (contractor). It seems to me that the real scam is contractors realizing they owe a lot in taxes, getting mad about the situation (of their own creation I might add), and then trying to argue that they were employees, in which the state assumes the burden is on the company, not the contractor. It’s basically equates to people changing their deal so the tax burden falls on the bigger company, even if this is contrary to what was agreed upon. Human nature seems to be to forget the truth when it benefits them. And human nature is for flame artists getting paid $120/hr to complain about getting clocked out when they are on
personal phone calls for forty mins , and to post that they were clocked out when they visited the bathroom. All of those who spend so much time trying to unionize the vfx industry should wake up and drop it. It will be the end. As people have posted, hydraulx paid full rates and paid everyone ot in accordance with state law for skyline, and all projects that matter. If you want to improve your pay, fight the illegal subsidies that other states and countries are offering the studios to take our jobs from us. It is THE issue facing the industry. Tax incentives are an evil, illegal Practice that we must stop.
Seriously? I’m trying so hard not to lose my patience after reading that.
Let me address the 1099 scam because it is a scam. Artists aren’t “choosing” to be independent contractors, the employers are. Why? Because they don’t have to pay their side of payroll taxes!
For example, if you are correctly classified as an employee, you will pay 6% of your salary into social security, and your employer must do the same. By making an employee an independent contracter, the employers gets to skip out on that and make the employee responsible for 12% of social security taxes!
Then this owner has the audacity to accuse an artist of engaging in a scam for reporting it to the state? This is just bad. I know many 1099 VFX artists who have been audited and dinged very badly by being misclassified.
What irritates me is the next statement: Human nature seems to be to forget the truth when it benefits them.
That’s very true for the owner here. The truth is there are artists at Hydraulx that are paid overtime after 50 hours a week. That’s against the law and it’s the truth along with the 1099 situation that conveniently gets forgotten. Afterall, it only benefits the owner.
But don’t blame us, the owner says, it’s those illegal overseas subsidies that need to be stopped! The chutzpah of such a statement is jaw dropping. You now want us to go after illegal trade subsidies while admitting to breaking labor laws yourself? Shame on you.
All of those who spend so much time trying to unionize the vfx industry should wake up and drop it. It will be the end.
That’s an ironic thing to say. Afterall, human nature seems to forget the truth when it benefits them right? Like how the Strause Brothers are receiving residuals and benefits by being members of the Directors Guild of America? You can search for them right here.
I’m reminded of a quote from Leslie Nielsen who passed away this week:
Truth hurts. Maybe not as much as jumping on a bicycle with the seat missing, but it hurts.