VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Local animators and visual effects artists have long complained about poor working conditions in their industry. Now, a group is trying to help them to unionize.
NEWS 1130 spoke with one of the organizers of a semi-secret town hall meeting planned for today.
It’s being put together by the local chapter of the Art Babbitt Appreciation Society or A-BAS for short.
Art Babbitt was a high-paid animator who broke with Disney and supported his lower paid colleagues in a strike against the studio.
Vanessa (last name withheld) is one of the organizers of the meeting. “We’ve been having town hall meetings for about a year and the drive comes from people telling us their stories and having trouble with their labour rights and unpaid overtime and issues like that.”
But good luck finding out where the meeting is. You have to apply online for tickets and make it through a careful vetting process. “We make sure that people are not management or press. It’s just to make sure that everyone feels comfortable,” she explains.
Vanessa adds the whole idea is to give animators and visual effects artists the information they need on how to unionize and to give them a chance to vent about their working conditions.
“Definitely unpaid overtime is a really big one, oftentimes animators and animation workers have to work really long hours and long weeks and those additional hours over our 40 hour week are not often compensated.”
ABAS holds these town halls four times a year.