Animators for Comedy Central’s “Stephen Colbert Presents Tooning Out the News” have voted “overwhelmingly” to unionize, the Animation Guild IATSE Local 83 announced on Thursday.
They’re the second group of animation workers and production staff in New York to do so this year, after Titmouse New York opted to unionize in January.
“I was so inspired by my colleagues at Titmouse New York taking the first step to finally allow animation workers in New York to have a collective voice! I’m calling on Late Night Cartoons to voluntarily recognize our Union because all of the amazing, hardworking, passionate people who are my coworkers deserve to have benefits, protections, and fair treatment like any of our peers represented by the entertainment unions in LA,” said drawn animator Lynn Fong in a news release. Late Night Cartoons, Inc. is a subsidiary of CBS Corporation, which is exclusively devoted to producing animated comedy series.
A petition is scheduled to be filed today with the National Labor Relations Board to hold an election and certify the union. The Animation Guild is also submitting a letter for voluntary recognition to CBS Eye Animation Productions, per the press release.
“For seven years in this industry I’ve found fighting for myself to be a difficult and mostly futile battle. The Late Night Collective [the name of the organizing committee] is teaming up to ensure that we all have a voice, and that that voice matters. Consistent and affordable healthcare, reasonable hours, and fair wages are issues near and dear to my heart, and together we ask that Late Night Cartoons voluntarily recognize our union so that we can continue to provide our hard work without fear of what will happen when the season ends,” said Cassidy Routh, a graphics artist on “Tooning Out the News.”