Disney Feature Animation Production Workers Vote to Unionize

93% of the group’s members voted to join The Animation Guild


Eighty production workers at Walt Disney Animation will unionize with IATSE Local 839, better known as The Animation Guild, after 63 of them voted to do so in a National Labor Relations Board vote that was tallied on Wednesday. There were only five votes against joining TAG.

The results of the vote come nearly eight months after the production workers announced their intention to join The Animation Guild by signing their unionization cards. Disney opted not to voluntarily recognize the union.

The Animation Guild has already successfully unionized production workers at top studios like Nickelodeon Animation. The union has pushed for positions like production coordinators and production supervisors to be given union benefits and wages negotiated by IATSE for other animation positions.

When The Animation Guild first went public with the Disney unionization campaign, it criticized the studio for arguing that the production workers were not eligible to unionize because they held managerial roles in the animation process.

“Disney already employs IATSE members as department heads and similar job titles across their business. This is a blatant attempt to undermine the collective bargaining rights of our members and to drive down standards for all workers in our industry,” IATSE President Matthew D. Loeb said in a statement in March.

Disney’s argument was rejected by an NLRB regional director in September, allowing the vote to move forward. If neither side files an objection to the results, the production worker bargaining group will be certified and can begin bargaining for a contract.

TheWrap has reached out to Disney for comment and will update with any response.


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