I wanted to commend your company after it was revealed in the NY Times that you will not continue to do business with vendors that don’t adhere to certain labor standards after a series of terrible events in Bangladesh.
However, I believe there is more that we can do. For the last few years I’ve written this blog on the visual effects industry and the bad labor practices of many vendors you utilize to create many of your blockbuster films. Let me make it clear that while many of these practices will never come close to what happened in Bangladesh, the events there serve as a catalyst to improve conditions for all workers at the vendors and subsidiaries you work with.
Prime Focus is a vendor in India you’ve utilized for doing visual effects. Last year I wrote about an indentured servitude-like program they conduct after I received emails from Indian workers there.
Another vendor you may have yet to work with yet is Pixomondo. I have received many emails from their former workers after they closed various facilities and left them unpaid. The same has occurred at Rhythm & Hues after it filed for bankruptcy and left many unpaid.
In another ironic twist, while this is not related to the latest version of Digital Domain, independent contractors that were paid during bankruptcy now find themselves being sued by creditors in an attempt to get them to return their wages.
Sony Imageworks is a big vendor for many of your films. I get many emails from workers there who tell me that they are given an ultimatum to move to a location that offers your studio a rebate or else they will be laid off.
These practices are not limited to just your vendors. LucasFilm has been a recent huge acquisition for your company. Last year I wrote about Luis Pages, a worker at the Singapore facility that was terminated after taking agreed upon time off to tend to his ill wife who suffered from a high risk pregnancy. It’s also worth mentioning the current trial involving collusion against workers in California between LucasFilm and another subsidiary Pixar. LucasFilm also recently announced it may open in London. Many of the workers in the UK would like to unionize and are not paid overtime for many of the films they work on.
I could go on and on but if you’d like to read more about these practices take a stroll through my blog. Maybe it’s time we solve these problems?