In Historic First, Marvel VFX Workers Vote Unanimously to Unionize with IATSE

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) counted the votes and unanimously voted to unionize the VFX workers at Disney-owned Marvel Studios with the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE).

Background On August 7, a group of 52 Marvel Studios VFX workers filed to unionize with IATSE, and a mail-in election was held from August 21 to September 11; on September 12, the NLRB tallied the responses and unanimously voted to unionize with IATSE. The organization's workers include data wranglers, production managers, witness camera operators, and assistants who work on MCU series such as "Loki" and "Daredevil": Born Again. In August, VFX workers at Walt Disney Pictures filed their own union application with IATSE filed their own application to unionize at IATSE, and the results of that NLRB vote are expected to be announced by October 2. [This is the first time in IATSE history that a bargaining unit composed entirely of VFX workers has unionized with IATSE. This comes at a time when the VFX industry appears as precarious as ever, with layoffs widespread and workers complaining of low wages, poor working conditions, lack of recognition, and inadequate benefits. [Now that workers have voted to unionize with IATSE, the union will negotiate with the studio to craft a contract that better meets the demands of the bargaining unit. The date for negotiations has not yet been set, but negotiations are mandatory and both sides must negotiate in good faith; according to IATSE, this is "the first of many organizing victories in VFX, and interested client-side and vendor-side VFX workers may contact union organizers at We anticipate that they will be able to contact us." [Anna George, assistant coordinator at Marvel Studios, was on the zoom call when the votes were tallied:

It was so moving to hear the YES and know that we are fighting for what we deserve. What a powerful moment

VFX coordinator Caroline News agreed. Very much needed and appreciated by all.

VFX coordinator Thomas Bernard said:

This is historic and I'm glad to be a part of it. By elevating the quality of storytelling through our work, we're not only fundamentally changing the game, but we're making great strides in honoring the people behind the scenes who helped build our industry.

VFX Coordinator Sarah Kazko explained what it meant to join the union:

I grew up dreaming of working on Marvel movies, so when I started my first job at Marvel, the unpaid overtime, lack of meal breaks and deadlines imposed on VFX teams to meet I felt like I couldn't complain about the incredible pressure. But the reality is that every worker deserves rights, and joining IATSE means not having to choose between a job you love and an identity outside of work. [IATSE VFX organizer Mark Patch says:

Today, Marvel Studios VFX workers unanimously spoke out demanding fair pay for the hours they work, healthcare, a safe and sustainable work environment, and respect for their work. There could not be a stronger statement that underscores the overwhelming need to continue our work and bring union protections and standards to all VFX workers across the industry. And what better example of the courage and solidarity of these workers than each and every one of them declaring "Union YES!"