It’s exciting to look back on TAG’s activities and accomplishments in 2023. We grew at an unprecedented rate on a national level–welcome New York, Texas, Puerto Rico, and Virginia! We gained national jurisdiction over animation organizing, and our members were more active than ever before, from spearheading social networking events to organizing strike support activities. Here are a few of the highlights from this history-making year.
Not only do 99% of all TAG members at Walt Disney Animation Studios (WDAS) vote to ratify the 2021-2024 The Secret Lab (TSL) Agreement, almost 80% of eligible voters cast a ballot–a historic turnout!
Nickelodeon agrees to voluntarily recognize The Animation Guild as the bargaining representative for 177 animation production workers at the studio.
Seventy-eight Production Coordinators, Production Supervisors, and Production Managers demand voluntary recognition to unionize at WDAS.
For the first time since the start of the pandemic, TAG hosts an in-person mixer. Held at the Golden Road Brewery, the response is so positive that the guest list maxes out almost immediately.
Carrying on a tradition that began in 1996, the volunteer-led Afternoon of Remembrance pays tribute to TAG members and other animation industry members who passed away the previous year.
Keyframe, TAG’s quarterly magazine, celebrates its 5th anniversary.
The AI Task Force is established to examine the impact of machine learning and AI on the animation industry and its workers. The group begins to investigate how to protect the membership from the potential negative effects of automation and explores the ethical implications and potential drawbacks of using these techniques in order to compile a report based on findings and make recommendations to the membership.
The Animation Guild leadership and TAG’s WDAS artists join WDAS production workers in a Solidarity Walk at Disney Studios to apply pressure to the studio to voluntarily recognize the production workers. More than 100 people walk the perimeter of the studio lot, and a group of 12 representatives present a solidarity petition for the production workers’ demand to join the Union. To date, the petition has been signed by almost 100,000 animators, production workers, and supporters.
Having asked for voluntary recognition and been denied, animation workers at Rough Draft Studios are forced to hold a National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) election. The workers vote strongly in favor of joining the union, and the NLRB certifies The Animation Guild to represent the workers.
As part of developing a K-8 animation curriculum with industry experts, TAG joins partners The BRIC Foundation and the Inglewood Unified School District for a ribbon cutting to unveil the new Animation, Visual Effects, and Gaming (AVG) Career Technical Education Pathway Lab at Crozier Middle School in Inglewood. This is just one of the ways TAG is dedicated to expanding access and creating pathways to animation careers for students from all backgrounds.
In a history-making moment, Titmouse NYC workers ratify their first union contract. Titmouse NYC is TAG’s first organizing effort outside L.A. County. Working with a supermajority of support from the Titmouse NYC animation crew and voluntary recognition from the studio, TAG is now able to enforce its first contract outside L.A. County.
Starting in May at Warner Bros. Studios, TAG ME members organize member-led picket support events to show solidarity with WGA members. Hundreds of TAG members walk in solidarity at studios during the following months, supporting WGA members and then SAG-AFTRA members until the end of both strikes.
On the 100th day after demanding voluntary recognition at WDAS, the production unit and TAG allies stage a silent protest following the screening of the company’s 100th anniversary film, Wish. Artists and production workers line the hallways holding up signs with their wishes such as “I wish Disney would respect its workers” and “I wish I could afford eggs.”
The 79th District 2 Convention, held in Hawai’i, sees a record turnout with 235 registered delegates in attendance. Four resolutions proposed by The Animation Guild delegates pass, including one supporting comprehensive adoption and fertility benefits, and another recommending the expansion of transgender medical treatments.
Skybound Entertainment voluntarily recognizes The Animation Guild as the bargaining representative for its animation production employees, including remote workers.
Bento Box production staff hold a ratification vote over a tentative agreement with their employer. The unit votes overwhelmingly to ratify the agreement.
Once again TAG volunteers step up to make the 5th Annual Portfolio Review Day a huge success. The virtual event organized by the POC committee receives 559 submissions, with more than 90 TAG volunteers giving a total of 370 reviews.
After a successful organizing effort to be represented by The Animation Guild, the bargaining unit of 129 artists and production workers at Powerhouse Animation in Austin, Texas, receives voluntary recognition from the studio. This marks a significant moment for the animation industry as Texas becomes the first Right-to-Work state and second state outside of California to have union-represented animation workers.
A small but mighty group of animation workers at Gladius Studios in Puerto Rico vote 13-0 to join The Animation Guild–TAG’s third successful organizing effort outside L.A. County!
Animation production workers at both Warner Bros. Animation and Cartoon Network file separately with the National Labor Relations Board to join TAG and demand voluntary recognition from their employers.
At the IATSE General Executive Board Meeting in Chicago, the General Executive Board grants national jurisdiction to The Animation Guild to represent people working in the animation industry across the United States. This historic moment is the first time the IATSE grants national jurisdiction to a local union in more than 25 years. This not only gives TAG the ability to organize animation workers throughout the country, but it also means that no other IATSE Local can now attempt to organize in the animation industry.
IATSE announces the first campaign to organize game workers in the U.S. This campaign is led by TAG member and IA organizer Chrissy Fellmeth.
Animation workers at Stephen Colbert Presents Tooning Out the News overwhelmingly vote to join The Animation Guild–this is the second group of animation workers and production staff in New York to do so in less than a year.
The NLRB issues a Direction of Election in a landmark decision paving the way for Production Coordinators, Production Supervisors, and Production Managers at Walt Disney Animation Studios to vote on whether to unionize with IATSE.
At this year’s second member mixer, not only do almost 200 TAG members gather to eat, drink, and mingle at Brewyard Beer Company, they also fill boxes to overflowing with new toys for the Labor Community Services holiday toy drive and illustrate personalized holiday cards for the Motion Picture and Television Fund’s Angel Cards program for industry seniors.
In a groundbreaking move, a unit of 10 animation workers at WDAS “The Traveling Lab”–working remotely across six states–call for voluntary recognition from the studio and file with the NLRB to be represented by TAG, marking a significant shift in the animation industry’s approach to remote work.
WDAS production workers hold an election with the NLRB to unionize with TAG. With a 96% turnout, the workers vote a decisive 63-5 for TAG representation.
Animation production workers at Warner Bros. Animation and Cartoon Network achieve voluntary recognition from their studios to unionize with TAG.
TAG tradition continues with two popular events–the in-person Holiday Gift Market, showcasing artisan goods made by TAG members, and the 5th Annual Post-It Note art show and auction, presented by TAG’s PAL Committee and raising more than $3,700 for the IATSE PAC.
The artists, writers, and technicians at Whiteboard Geeks in Virginia vote unanimously to join The Animation Guild in a NLRB supervised election. Whiteboard Geeks becomes the fourth state/territory where animation workers will be represented by TAG.
Production workers at King of the Hill demand voluntary recognition to unionize with TAG. This demand encompasses similar job classifications as their sibling FOX TVA shows, including Production Assistant, Production Coordinator, Writer’s Assistant, Showrunner’s Assistant, Production Manager, and more.