Visual effects (VFX) artists working for Marvel Studios have voted unanimously to form the first ever union including only VFX workers. The union is being organized through the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE), and the election was held between August 21 and September 11. Organizers in charge of the event consider this to be an important first step in helping to improve pay and working conditions for VFX artists across the industry.
The Screen Actors Guild – American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) voted to go on strike after failing to reach an agreement with movie and television studios, as well as online streaming services, over a number of issues. This comes just over two months after the Writers Guild of America (WGA) also went on strike due to exploitative business practices and low pay. The goal of these strikes is to obtain better pay and benefits for their members, including better residuals for streaming shows, as well as to curtail efforts by studios to exploit actors using AI and other similar technology.
Suffice it to say that many employers are not fond of labor unions, and some businesses will go to extreme (and sometimes illegal) efforts to prevent a union from being organized among their employees. These tactics range from the surprisingly subtle to the absurdly overt. Here are some of the most common tactics employers use to try to keep employees from organizing unions:
In a first for the company, an Amazon warehouse in Staten Island has voted to unionize their workplace, beginning the formal process that would lead to collective bargaining and a union contract. The union election was held on Friday, April 1, where a majority of the employees at the warehouse voted to unionize. This is seen as a major victory for organizers, who had spent years trying to form a union at the location, despite serious efforts by Amazon to impede the process.