IATSE Sets Marvel Studios VFX Union Voting Period

The election will begin Aug. 21 with results announced Sept. 12

Groot (voiced by Vin Diesel) in Marvel Studios' Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios. © 2023 MARVEL.

Marvel Studios has agreed with IATSE to hold a unionization election for its VFX artists from August 21 to September 11, the below-the-line workers union has confirmed to TheWrap.

The dates come a week after IATSE announced that a supermajority of the VFX artists employed directly by Marvel Studios, which exceeds 50 employees, have signed cards stating their intent to unionize. The results of the election will be certified on Sept. 12.

While the union election will not include VFX artists from third-party vendors that are hired by Marvel Studios, IATSE sees the election as a key first step to unionizing more VFX artists and including them in the labor benefits that other below-the-line workers, from film editors to makeup artists, already earn as part of IATSE’s bargaining agreements with Hollywood studios.

“For almost half a century, workers in the visual effects industry have been denied the same protections and benefits their coworkers and crewmates have relied upon since the beginning of the Hollywood film industry,” IATSE VFX organizer Mark Patch said in a statement last week. “This is a historic first step for VFX workers coming together with a collective voice demanding respect for the work we do.”

If the vote passes, as it is expected to do, Marvel Studios will have the first VFX artists union in the entertainment industry, with its members joining a wave of newly unionized entertainment workers under IATSE, including production workers for television commercials and animation studios.

TheWrap has reached out to Marvel Studios for comment. The election dates were first reported by THR.