The Animation Guild

la-1491008739-p736zferlj-snap-imageThe creative labor in the digital age was deeply affected in the Writers Guild of America strike, which began November 2007 and lasted until February 2008. The strike sought better funding for labor unions and job security in comparison with big-named film and TV studios. Traditionally, workers in these labor unions, such as screenwriters, aren’t employed under guilds and receive less of a profit despite the shows/movies relying heavily on them to produce the content. When the strike came to an end, it makes one wonder if anything actually changed, and if these workers’ jobs were secured under the protection of their respective guild/union following the strike.

Taking a closer look a specific guild, the Animation Guild Local 839 of the Internationalanimation_guild_logo_detail Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) has a site that provides a surplus of information pertaining to its members, how they are regarded, what their rights are under the guild. Under the “Who Works Here” tab, the site states that The Animation Guild now has 3,794 artists, writers and technicians working under its jurisdiction at studios in and around Los Angeles. Of these, slightly more than 23% are women. To join the union, animation artists are “hired at a Guild-signatory facility in a job category under the Guild’s jurisdiction, the employer notifies the Guild office, and [they] send you a membership package.”

839-bugIn their FAQ, the Animation Guild makes it clear what the benefits are if an individual were to join the union, stating that under its jurisdiction, he or she will have the protection of working under a collective bargaining agreement, also known as CBA. These conditions do a multitude of things, such as define terms of employment, set minimum wages and working conditions, and most importantly, specify the payment of contributions to the Motion Picture Industry Pension and Health Plans (MPIPHP) to provide health insurance and a defined-benefit pension. To track income in the industry, the Animation Guild conduct yearly wage surveys. The PDF here shows the Member Wage survey in 2016, showing the total income of the different types of work that go into an animated piece.

Since 1952, the Animation Guild has represented artists, writers, and technicians, as its slogan states. For years many of our favorite TV shows and movies were signed to CBA and the Animation Guild in 2015, such as those shows produced under DreamWorks and giphyCartoon Network. With the information presented, it is clear that the Animation Guild properly protects its workers and uses their skills efficiently and fairly without the use of exploitation. For more information on the union, visit their twitter or website.



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