Wednesday, March 2, 2011

One more thing...

The previous post cited the example of live-action production companies that are signatories to collective bargaining agreements.  I neglected to clarify one thing -- most of those companies are not direct signatories -- they do not have individual CBAs with the various unions and guilds.  Most are signatories through their own professional association, the AICP.  

For VFX and animation companies of less than, say, 50 to 100 employees, it would generally be considered too troublesome and expensive to engage in collective bargaining directly.  (Although I worked at a 65-person company in the early 90s that did in fact negotiate directly and at length with the local that represented most of its employees, so you never know what a given owner might want to do.) It would behoove companies of that size and smaller to form a professional association like the AICP or AICE, empowered to bargain on behalf of its member companies.  

This is of course not a new idea.  But it might be time to start thinking about it again.


Bran DJ said...

Many commercial studios are already members of teh AICP. Are there no ethics rules or labor law-enforcement that they agree to uphold as members?

A union-aligned organization for VFX and animation companies like this could send a strong signal to artists who would like to work under some sort of professional standards. I like where this idea is headed!

etmthree said...

The AICP does have a pretty good ethics code. That said, it views itself as management in the traditional, oppositional sense, so it's not very chummy with the unions. Also, to be fair, its principal purpose is to protect the prodcos from the depredations of their clients -- the ad agencies.