Not since Palpatine has our republic seen such a betrayal in trust!
A copy of the recent settlement and court documents between the Department of Justice and Lucasfilm are available:
According to the investigation, Pixar was the company that actually drafted the agreement and presented it to Lucasfilm no later than 2005.
They illegally agreed to 3 things:
- No cold calling of each other’s employees.
- Notification when making an offer to an employee of the other firm.
- No counteroffer above the initial offer when offering a position to the other company’s employee.
Both companies made management and select employees with hiring or recruiting responsibilities aware to follow this agreement.
On two occasions in 2007, Pixar complained to Lucasfilm about recruiting efforts by them which breached the above agreement. Both companies agreed to alter their recruiting strategy so it did not violate those terms.
Are you pissed off yet? Because I am. What’s even worse is the fact the DOJ is asking the companies to police themselves for the next 5 years.
What really gets to me is that it was Pixar, not ILM that drafted and proposed this agreement. It wasn’t like they were some vfx facility with razor thin margins that needed to do this to stay in business. This was Pixar, one of the most profitable companies to ever employ vfx artists.
I’m all for ideas on how to prevent this.
First off, I personally will be withholding funding for any films or products that are serviced by ILM or Pixar.
If I were a member of The Animation Guild or the potential VFX union, I would propose a provision in the guild contracts with signatory facilities that did the following:
All executives, managers, and recruiters involved in hiring must sign an agreement that they acknowledge that they can be civilly liable for engaging in collusion against guild members.
The problem is there are can be personal agreements between managers/recruiters that the company can argue was not condoned. While I’ve known quite a few good recruiters, there are a lot of rotten recruiters who engage in some seriously bad tactics. If all of the hiring managers knew that engaging in this kind of illegal behavior could not only make the company liable but themselves civilly liable, I would assume this practice would stop pretty quick.