Marvel VFX workers design a union drive

Marvel VFX teams assemble

Together with

The Future. Marvel VFX workers are fed up with unsustainable working conditions and pushing to unionize. There’s still a way to go before the workers are officially unionized, but it’s a move that could spur several VFX houses to follow in the Marvel team’s footsteps. And if you’ve seen how many VFX houses work on any given Marvel movie, that represents a lot of possible new union workers.

Pixels and pickets
A majority of Marvel VFX workers have signed cards stating they want to be represented by the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) — the union that represents many of Hollywood’s craftspeople.

  • The effort represents a decade-long push to organize the VFX industry, which has routinely been hampered by long hours and subpar protections.
  • And despite Hollywood blockbusters relying on special effects, over 20 VFX houses have folded as productions outsourced work to overseas firms.
  • Now, the demands of Marvel (which has released a record seven movies and eight series in just two years) and the rise of AI have pushed workers over the edge.

The unionization effort isn’t a done deal yet — the National Labor Relations Board still needs to investigate and sign off on the request. If it gives the green light, then Marvel’s VFX team can officially vote to unionize.

And with Hollywood knee-deep in two strikes that have demonstrated massive worker solidarity, it’s safe to say the vote will pass with flying colors… and start a new phase in Marvel’s business story.

David Vendrell

Born and raised a stone’s-throw away from the Everglades, David left the Florida swamp for the California desert. Over-caffeinated, he stares at his computer too long either writing the TFP newsletter or screenplays. He is repped by Anonymous Content.


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