So the usual argument you hear goes something like this:
If we unionize the work will eventually all go away.
I always wondered if that was actually true. Last week The Animation Guild’s Jeff Massie posted some stats on current membership numbers. I asked if he could post stats on total membership as far back as possible.
Mr. Massie kindly compiled those stats going back 25 years and posted it in a graph on TAG’s blog. I’ve copied it and posted it above.
What it shows is that TAG membership is at a 25 year high with just under 2,700 professional members: That’s a growth of more than 200% over 25 years.
If you were to subscribe to the argument above, combined with the over 10 years of outsourcing to India/China, along with one of the biggest recessions in the last 50 years, AND the closure of ImageMovers Digital, you would have to think that TAG would cease to exist.
Well, the numbers certainly don’t lie and I argue the reason we are seeing growth is agglomeration. There is a huge talent base in California and that provides VFX and animation businesses the benefit of a very talented and reliable pool of workers to draw resources from. It’s nice to work in an group where professionals look out for one another. We should continue that trend.
Speaking of which there’s a new blogger called SpiUnion out there campaigning for unionization of Sony Pictures Imageworks. There is a post about TAG’s failed attempt to unionize back in 2003. Show your support and let your colleagues at Imageworks know.