May The Lawsuit Be With You

Some interesting news on the collusion front for Star Wars Day. A class action has been filed by a former LucasFilm employee that includes Pixar and other Bay Area tech titans:

“My colleagues at Lucasfilm and I applied our skills, knowledge, and creativity to make the company an industry leader,” said Hariharan. “It’s disappointing that, while we were working hard to make terrific products that resulted in the enormous profits for Lucasfilm, senior executives of the company cut deals with other premiere high tech companies to eliminate competition and cap pay for skilled employees.”

As big as we think the VFX industry is, it’s actually quite small when you compare the number of workers to other industries. When 2 of the biggest companies that employ VFX artists engage in a practice like collusion, it has a dramatic effect on the market prices for our salaries. Where this will go is anyone’s guess but unlike the IA efforts to unionize, this is moving forward.

Soldier On.

11 Responses to May The Lawsuit Be With You

  1. Dave S says:

    its interesting that ILM stopped being a union shop some time ago, I wonder if there is any correlation. Probably not, but if so, it’d be news worthy.

    • VFX Soldier says:

      From what I understand there were legitimate reasons for the workers there to get rid of the union there. It was a stagehands union with really no experience about VFX.

      That being said, it looks like the collusion matter came after the union was voted out. Could it be a coincidence? Sure, but if not then it’s certainly a game changer.

  2. Vfxartist says:

    This is the part where the artist of other facilities are supposed to empathize, shore up some solidarity in the form of off site meetings, BBQ’s, and the like to talk about what can be done. Organizing at its infancy.

    The cynic in me say that they won’t. Many will think that can never happen to them. Others will think that its pixar and ILM, and that artist should be just happy to work there. Some may even nod and think that when they open their own FX shop, that they should do the same and incorporate it into their business pitch to the investors. Others may just simply not care….

    Please don’t make me a cynic.

  3. cubicle says:

    Well, shouldn’t collusions like this be allowed in a free market capitalist system? All according to the American Dream eh?

  4. Paul says:

    Ok I’d really like to know why kind of caps we’re talking about, I mean if it’s $150k/year there’s not much to complain about is there?!

    People can just go commercial/open their own shit and make more, after all human nature dictates all this, as long as fan boys are willing to take a financial hit so they can work at Pixar/ILM what can anyone do to prevent this?…nothing! Unless it was written on paper this collusion is gonna be hard to prove.

    People who complain shouldn’t have accepted a job there in the first place, you do know these companies make billions and you’re just getting bread crumbs, of course you’re gonna get pissed off one way or the other with your “pitiful” salary.

    • VFX Soldier says:

      “People can just go commercial/open their own shit and make more, after all human nature dictates all this”

      Well that’s the problem. ILM and Pixar engaged in no-poaching and no cold-calling agreements. So your freedom to go out and get a better deal was prohibited by an agreement that violates anti-trust laws.

      I’ve heard of rumors of similar agreements at the Soho facilities and Vancouver. Here in the US the collusion was revealed by a US Federal Department of Justice investigation.

  5. […] Trick or treat! Last time there was news about the LucasFilm/Pixar collusion scandal it was on Star Wars Day when an anti-trust law firm announced a class action lawsuit. […]

  6. […] May The Lawsuit Be With You […]

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