Imageworks’ formerly proposed New Mexico facility.
Cartoon Brew posts:
A group of artists at Sony Pictures Imageworks is leading a push for change at their studio that could have big ramifications for the rest of the vfx industry in Los Angeles. Their goal is to unionize Imageworks, and they are promoting their cause publicly through the SpiUnion blog, as well as Twitter and Facebook accounts.
Animation Guild reaction here.
The most common argument against a union at Sony is that “if we go union, they’ll just go away.”
My reaction? Isn’t that what they’ve been trying to do forever?
In 2007, it was all supposed to go to India where labor costs are the lowest. Then it was all supposed to go to New Mexico where the cost of living was low and the government offered a 25% film subsidy.
Half a decade later where are we now?
Imageworks New Mexico has unfortunately closed down. Were still waiting on our jobs to all go to India while the new execs focus on trying to move talent to Vancouver instead of New Mexico.
Meanwhile staff positions are gone and many former Imageworkers have moved to union facilities like Disney and DreamWorks. Now The Animation Guild’s membership is the highest it’s been in 25 years.
I know I pound the portable benefits and other union goodies a lot but there’s something else I’m looking for: Solidarity.
If we want to get involved and start changing this industry together we have to do it with a union and it has to get a foothold somewhere. I get criticized for being “US focused” but hey, the squeaky wheel gets the oil. I’ve been one of the first to get word out about unionization efforts in the UK, and Vancouver.
If that foothold is established, my hope is it will gradually spread and indirectly get the facilities to jointly negotiate: Voila, instant trade organization.