For over a year IATSE has been working with members of the Visual Effects community to establish an organizing campaign for artists. To that end they are formally and publicly announcing that effort. In addition they have hired Jim Goodman as a full time representative whose sole responsibility will be to organize VFX artists into IATSE. After the jump you will find a link to a letter sent by International President Matthew D. Loeb to the Visual Effects Society with the details of this effort. Here is an excerpt:
“The IATSE represents more than 112,000 entertainment industry workers. Over 25,000 of our 60,000 members who work making motion pictures throughout the U.S. and Canada are in Los Angeles. These members enjoy the protections of the largest entertainment union in the world. The contracts under which they work provide for working conditions and benefit plans that are second to none. But there is an important group missing from our union, The Visual Effects Artists, and it is my firm belief that their rightful home is within the IATSE.”
Some background and the complete letter follows….
IATSE, the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees is the same guild that represents Cinematographers (local 600), Art Directors (local 800), Animation Guild (local 839), Motion Picture Editors Guild (local 700)… see this wikipedia entry for a complete list, but it is safe to say that the majority of people on a film set are under IATSE.
What does this mean? What about the recent IBEW announcements? How does this work with recent efforts of The Animation Guild to expand representation of Visual Effects artists? We have extended an invitation to both IATSE and IBEW to come on the fxpodcast and talk directly to artists and explain what they feel they can offer. We hope they will take us up on that very soon.
Here is the letter from IATSE to VES: