Brew talks to Sony Imageworks employees pushing for the union label. They tell it:
... People need to ask why are the directors, producers, actors, cameramen, grips, best boys, are all union, but not us? We certainly don’t dare stand up and say anything for fear of angering the mothership right? ...
To catch people up: Several years ago, Sony Imageworks held a vote to see if the employees there wanted to "go union."
There were discussions, there were presentations of health and pension plans by IA officials and the administrator of the Motoin Picture Industry Health and Pension Plan. There was also major pushback from Sony Pimageworks' staff employees, who were reasonably certain that their fine benefits would remain in place.
Turned out they were wrong, but the IATSE went down to defeat in the election anyway.
Most of the Imageworks staff employees are now gone from the Imageworks premises, and the profit-sharing and high-end health benefits have also exited. In my travels, I occasionally encounter "buyers' remorse" from ex-Imageworks employees. I tell them the vote was then ... and this is now ... and there's always opportunities for do-overs.
This might be one of those opportunities.
Kaplan here ..
What's really inspiring about this drive, is the fact that the artists inside took it upon themselves to start it. While we support them as much as we can, they were the ones who created the site, talked to their peers, passed out repcards and are making the decision to have their voice heard over at Imageworks.
For all the nay-sayers and FUD mongers that are out there, its incredibly motivating to see artists coming to the realization that the only way the industry will change, is if they make it happen. With the help of the union, these artists are making a stand just as their predecessors in animation did years before. Not just the SPA employees, but the Disney and Warner Bros artists we fondly remember. I am honored to be a part of their movement and look forward to being a part of their success.