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Meet Our New Production Shop Stewards

Kim Fay / May 5, 2023

TAG News / no comments

As production crews join our TAG family, they also join us in growing our advocacy for TAG members in the workplace. We’re excited to introduce two new TAG production members who have taken on the role of Shop Steward at their respective studios. Our Shop Stewards are our on-the-ground “eyes and ears,” as well as liaisons between crews and Guild staff. These people are actively on your side, looking out for your best interests. Get to know them—and while you’re at it, thank them, too!

Lauren Clinton Clark
Design Coordinator
Rick and Morty

What experience do you have in organizing? 
By the time I joined the crew on Rick and Morty, production had already voted to unionize, and the studio had voluntarily agreed to recognize it. Just before negotiations began, I got to hop onto the committee and support our team with another fantastic production crew member. We represented our team for weeks in the negotiations, both of us delivering speeches on the importance of our demands. In the end, I’m very happy with the agreement that we reached. 

Why did you choose to become a Shop Steward? 
I believe steadfastly in the importance of workers. And I believe that the labor class, as a whole, has been taken advantage of for far too long. We are the only people who can be trusted to look out for each other, and if I can be a part of that support, I am honored to embrace the opportunity. Animation production crews are coming out in droves, demanding rights that TAG can help provide them. But recognition and even contracts are not enough. It is the day-to-day support that will make the difference, and I’m lucky to be that point person for our production crew.

What would you like your co-workers to know about your role as a Shop Steward? 
As one of the Shop Stewards on our show (my focus being mainly on production), one of my roles is to provide answers to any questions our crew may have. This is especially important now because the Union is new to us. We’re all still learning about the resources available. It’s my duty to understand the terms reached in our contract and relay them to whomever is asking. It is also my responsibility to keep an eye out for our team. As a Shop Steward, I’m tasked with keeping open communication with crew members and listening to and relaying any concerns or ideas. If someone on our crew feels like they are not being represented properly by our show, it’s my job to identify that and elevate it to the appropriate representatives at TAG. My role helps create transparency and maintain a bridge between our show and the Union. 

Elianne Melendez

Production Coordinator
Titmouse/Robin Red Breast

What experience do you have in organizing?
I was a Negotiations Committee member during the organizing of Titmouse production workers in Los Angeles.

Why did you choose to become a Shop Steward?
I wanted to make sure as production workers started to enter TAG, we would have a strong start as far as representation inside the Union. The truth about fighting for your rights as a worker is that it’s just as much about fighting the small stuff like inconsistencies on your paystub as it is bravely striking for equitable pay and treatment. It’s the everyday work that sets up the foundation for a strong union with the power and leverage to deal with wealthy corporations. 

What would you like your co-workers to know about your role as a Shop Steward?
If you have questions or concerns about anything distressing or odd happening on your show or at the studio that you cannot take to a supervisor, I am here to advocate for you and with you. I can also help with any questions about the Union or direct you to someone who can answer them. But most of all, remember that you, me, WE are the Union!

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