Marvel Studios VFX Crews Seek To Unionize With IATSE

Marvel Studios VFX Crews Seek To Unionize With IATSE

August 7, 2023

Visual effects crews at Marvel Studios today filed for a unionization election with the National Labor Relations Board, with a supermajority of Marvel’s more than 50-worker crew having signed authorization cards saying they want to be represented by IATSE.

“We are witnessing an unprecedented wave of solidarity that’s breaking down old barriers in the industry and proving we’re all in this fight together,” said IATSE President Matthew Loeb. “That doesn’t happen in a vacuum. Entertainment workers everywhere are sticking up for each other’s rights, that’s what our movement is all about. I congratulate these workers on taking this important step and using their collective voice.”

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According to the union, “this marks the first time VFX professionals have joined together to demand the same rights and protections as their unionized colleagues in the film industry.”

“For almost half a century, workers in the visual effects industry have been denied the same protections and benefits their coworkers and crewmates have relied upon since the beginning of the Hollywood film industry,” said Mark Patch, IATSE’s VFX organizer. “This is a historic first step for VFX workers coming together with a collective voice demanding respect for the work we do.”

Positions such as production designers/art directors, camera operators, sound, editors, hair & makeup artists, costumes/wardrobe, script supervisors, grips, lighting, props and painters long have been represented by IATSE in film and television, but workers in VFX classifications historically have not.

VFX coordinator Bella Huffman highlighted some of the issues facing VFX workers.

“Turnaround times don’t apply to us, protected hours don’t apply to us, and pay equity doesn’t apply to us,” she said. “Visual effects must become a sustainable and safe department for everyone who’s suffered far too long and for all newcomers who need to know they won’t be exploited.”

The union notes that the filing for a union election “comes at a pivotal moment in the film and television industry” amidst ongoing strikes by the Writers Guild and SAG-AFTRA. The WGA has been on strike since May 2, and SAG-AFTRA since July 14.

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