Apple Studios VFX Workers Move To Unionize Under IATSE

IATSE is continuing its push to unionize visual effects workers, this time setting its sights on Apple Studios.

The guild announced Friday that it has filed for a National Labor Relations Board election after a supermajority of the 17 employees across six Apple series have signed authorization cards.

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They have also already asked management at Apple Studios to voluntarily recognize their VFX workers’ union. Deadline has reached out to the studio for comment.

The employees under the proposed bargaining unit work across shows including Bubbi, Jiminy, Foxtrot, Government Cheese, Surface and Blackbird. The roles that IATSE is seeking to represent include VFX Production Supervisor/Manager, VFX Associate Production Manager, Senior VFX Coordinator, VFX Coordinator, VFX Assistant Coordinator, VFX Production Assistant, VFX Witness Camera Operator, VFX Production Artist (a.k.a. In-House Compositor, Virtual Art Director), VFX On-Set Supervisor, VFX On-Set Production Supervisor/Manager, Lead VFX, Data Wrangler, VFX Data Wrangler, and VFX Jr. Data Wrangler.

“Ensuring every behind-the-scenes worker’s contributions are recognized and compensated takes courage like that shown by Apple’s VFX Workers,” IATSE International President Matthew D. Loeb said in a statement. “The ongoing industry contraction in the film and television industry is pushing workers to the brink globally. Folks have less to lose, and much to gain from standing together. We are witnessing a powerful moment of solidarity and determination among VFX workers, and IATSE stands ready to support them every step of the way.”

This follows similar moves by VFX artists at Marvel and Walt Disney Pictures to unionize.

IATSE has been an outspoken advocate for the representation of VFX workers, citing in Friday’s announcement a 2022 survey the union conducted that found “an overwhelming majority of VFX workers feel that their work is not sustainable in the long term, with key issues being wages, access to industry-standard health and retirement benefits, uncompensated overtime, safety, and training, among others.”

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