Poach-gate Update: Judge Refuses To Dismiss Case

Video from Slate

Oh, did you forget about that collusion thingie? From the law firm behind the lawsuit against LucasFilm, Pixar, and other Bay Area tech companies:

 The Court added: “Far from asserting mere conclusions of law, Plaintiffs’ [complaint] details how cold calling normally works in the labor market for skilled employees in the high-tech industry and how eliminating cold calling would reduce such employees’ compensation and mobility. Plaintiffs provide specific examples of various ways in which cold calling significantly impacts employee compensation.” Order, page 21 (internal citations to the Consolidated Amended Complaint omitted).

Related posts:


ILM Pixar Collusion Court Documents

Lee Stranahan On Lucasfilm/Pixar Collusion

VFX Recruiter Comments On Collusion

What Is The Croner VFX Survey?

May The Lawsuit Be With You

What’s Happening With LucasFilm/Pixar Collusion Case?

Poach-gate Scandal: VFX Idol Steve Jobs Involved

Poach-gate Update: Collusion Details To Come

Soldier On.

14 Responses to Poach-gate Update: Judge Refuses To Dismiss Case

  1. Anonymouse says:

    A few months I sat at a salary review at my vfx company ( in London ) where the HR person I was talking to explicitly said that there was a payscale agreed between the different vfx houses.
    It’s also standard pratice for London vfx houses to share salary information amongst themselves as well as contract end dates. More than once I have been approached by other vfx houses just as my contract was coming to an end.
    Does all of this not amount to collusion?

  2. John Crane says:

    Well DNEG and MPC certainly don’t share these details as they are competing for staff. Letting the other know how much they pay artists would mean its easier to poach them. Something which Dneg has been doing for a while.

    Perhaps this is happening for short term hires who go from place to place often in an effort to get their wage increased when they may not worth anywhere near as much as they say or believe but I can’t see any good reason which benefits the studios for ‘core’ staff’s pay details to be shared.

  3. Anonymouse says:

    I’m familiar with both of the studios you mentioned. It would certainly benefit both of them if they shared this info: they could cap artist pay.
    Further, it would work in precisely the opposite fashion to what you described, if the studios are colluding to have a uniform pay scale among the studios, that would mean that the reason for the artists to jump ship would have to be something else other than pay, since that would be roughly the same, no matter where they went.
    Like, say, a practice of consistently demanding unreasonable mandatory (unpaid) overtime. Something with which I’m sure you are familiar if you have ever worked in Soho.

    • John Crane says:

      as i have seen dneg poach artists from MPC all the time by offering 25%+ better wages i stand by what i have said

      • fizz says:

        Dneg and MPC collaborate? That’s a laugh – do you know anything about their history? The smaller companies in London generally won’t poach off the bigger shops that feed them overflow work, but between the big 4 it’s no-holds-barred. They’re quite happy to poach off each other while they’re all working on the same show – John Carter drove a lot of bed hopping between Dneg, MPC and Cinesite and a lot of artists did very nicely indeed. However, when the music stopped some people found themselves sleeping with someone who didn’t need them anymore.

        @Anonymouse: your HR person was talking out of their perfectly-groomed arse. Don’t fall for it.

  4. rfk says:

    Fortunately, it’s not illegal for you to “collude” with your coworkers about what you’re paid. If you can’t bear to discuss it openly, use something like glassdoor.com to share your salary range with others.

  5. Blah2000 says:

    I’m counting the amount of times I hear whining on this blog and no talk about innovative solutions for the industry.

    VFX is starting to sound like the shiftless midwest auto workers and we all know where that ended up.

  6. Dave Rand says:

    This practice was made illegal in the US and Canada for very valid reasons. When Sony took over the Matrix Reloaded from Centropolis their first move was to hire Centropolis’ HR dept to re hire us at Sony….

    Later in Montreal I was told by the HR gal mentioned here that she thought artist’s salaries were out of control and that it was “rediculous and needed to be stopped” .


    Later in Canada a friend was having trouble getting the attention on the promise to make him staff and get a raise. He took a few interviews and let all the colluding HR call over and see if it was ok to hire him..he got called to a meeting and asked why he was interviewing other shops and was told they would not pay him anymore than he was getting now.

    • Aruna says:

      I remember back in day when I was running VFXWages. There was more wage openness then than there is now. At least artists had SOME bearing as to what an accurate salary/wage might have been. It actually could have stabilised wages among companies, with a fairer outlook.. Unfortunately, some ideas are ahead of their time.

      There’s still some wage information remaining on the Facebook page..


      • Why did you actually stop to run wages? I saw the closing statement but no real reason. you can IM if its too private. Id love to know. thanks

  7. Cold Calls says:

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    aren’t afraid to say how they believe. Always go after your heart.

  8. Shenna says:

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