Workers produce animated sitcoms about aliens Opposite Sun voted to join The Animation Guild in the National Labor Relations Board election.
The eight-member bargaining unit unanimously voted to join the Guild (IATSE Local 839), the union said. (The Hollywood Reporter The show’s distributor, Hulu, has been reached for comment.)
The counting of votes took place on Wednesday, after a voting period from April 1 to April 18. The Animation Association first announced the news. on Twitter on Thursday. “We did it!!!” tweeted Opposite Sun production coordinator Dana Bell, who added, “Sincere thanks to everyone for all the support, especially all the artists on RAM [Rick and Morty] and Solar, who is always supporting us, store manager @teddyoconnor and Elisa, our organizer, and everyone who has supported!! So proud of this moment.”
Workers on Opposite Sun filed a request for a union election on February 22 after Local claimed that management at the show’s parent studio had refused to voluntarily recognize a requested bargaining unit. In the worker’s notice of their intention to incorporate, Opposite Sun Production manager Kallan Zimmerman says production workers “have been undervalued and underpaid for too long” and that “it’s about time we took a seat at the table with our artist colleagues.” “. Bell added, “I am delighted to be united with my colleagues in the production department who have worked so hard on these shows, joining forces with the artists at TAG and working towards get the recognition and benefits we deserve.”
The election results represent the Guild’s latest victory when it comes to organizing cartoon production workers. Last month, after card counting, a union for manufacturing workers in Titmouse LA was voluntarily recognized; the union says that recent card numbers also bring about voluntary recognition at Rick and Morty (Adult Swim distributor declined to comment). While The Animation Guild previously represented production workers, when contracted at Titmouse LA, Rick and Morty and Opposite Sun negotiated “this will be the first time in recent history” the guild will include such workers, a guild representative said. At a recent Guild Animation rally, Guild organizer and field representative Ben Speight said Local intends to further organize production workers on animation projects.
Meanwhile, the Association remains tied up in protracted negotiations with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP), the organization that bargains on behalf of the major studios over a new master deal. . Those negotiations began in late November 2021, and as the negotiations drag on, members of the Guild have become increasingly outspoken on social media about grievances such as low remuneration for authors. Cartoonists covered by their agreement, color designers and story artists, among other things.