Banding together in the effort to better your work conditions and have a stronger voice with management is called “organizing”. Your right to organize is protected by federal law, and you do not need to first join the Guild in order to organize.
You (and your co-workers) simply need to believe that you deserve a voice in the decisions that shape your professional lives. History teaches us that our skills alone are not enough to secure the wages, benefits and working conditions we deserve. Joining together with others at the job and negotiating collectively is the best way to negotiate from a position of strength.
The Animation Guild has a proud history of helping to organize and represent animation artists in the Los Angeles area. Our goal is to provide a seamless cloak of benefits and the strength of a collective voice to animation artists in Los Angeles and beyond.
If you want a stronger say in your job and your profession, contact Steve Kaplan about organizing at your workplace.
The Organizing Process
A Show of Interest
This is the opening phase of the process. Artists learn about the benefits and approach the Guild. Meetings are held and information is shared. An organizing committee of interested and motivated employees is formed and they begin to reach out to their co-workers.
Representation cards are distributed and signed and returned to us. These cards are a physical representation of the intent of the named artist to have the Guild negotiate in their behalf. Signing a representation card is a confidential matter, which we respect. We do not give out the names of those who have signed representation cards.
Based on research and information given, it is determined that a majority of the group is interested in representation. This is determined based on the amount of signed cards and how many people we know to be working in the unit that is interested in organizing.
With a majority of the artists having shown an interest in Guild representation by signing cards, the Guild will approach the company to announce our intent of going to the NLRB to petition for an election to be granted the bargaining authority for the artists. Some companies will forgo elections at this stage and move directly to negotiating a contract with us. The Guild will bring the cards to the NLRB to show majority representation and cause for the petition. The NLRB will verify that majority by contacting the employer and requesting a crew list and verifying the names on the list against the names on the cards. At no time will the company see the names of those who have signed a representation card.
An NLRB Election is Held
The NLRB will hold an election of the employees in the unit to be represented to determine if there is a majority support for Guild representation. The election will take place at a neutral location and the votes kept secret from everyone. Only the results will be announced.
With the election results showing the desire by the employees to be represented by the Guild, the employer and the Guild will sit together and attempt to negotiate a contract “in good faith”.
With the consent of the employees, the contract is agreed upon signed. The employees are now members of The Animation Guild and subject to the rights and privileges therein.
Organization is Your Lawful Right
In 1935, Congress enacted the National Labor Relations Act (“NLRA”) to protect the rights of employees and employers, to encourage collective bargaining, and to curtail certain private sector labor and management practices which can harm the general welfare of workers, businesses and the U.S. economy.
Under this Act, the rights of organization are protected and delineated in the following passages:
Sec. 7. Employees shall have the right to self-organization, to form, join, or assist labor organizations, to bargain collectively through representatives of their own choosing, and to engage in other concerted activities for the purpose of collective bargaining or other mutual aid or protection.
Sec. 8. It shall be an unfair labor practice for an employer –
(1) to interfere with, restrain, or coerce employees in the exercise of the rights guaranteed in section 7
The Representation Card
We encourage anyone working for a non-union animation, visual effects or games company to sign an Animation Guild (TAG) representation card.
A representation card will show that you wish to have TAG serve as your collective bargaining representative in negotiating a union contract. At no time will your employer be notified that you have signed this card.
When sufficient representation cards have been received, TAG will contact the National Labor Relations Board to request a certification election at the company.
If we win this election, the company will be obligated to negotiate a contract with TAG. Contact Steve Kaplan at the TAG office, or call (818) 845-7500 ext. 112, to receive a representation card by mail or for further information.