On August 11 and 12, animation workers at Titmouse New York and production animation workers at Titmouse Los Angeles will begin separate negotiations for their first Union contracts with The Animation Guild (TAG), IATSE Local 839. These efforts mark a significant milestone for TAG and animation industry workers. They will also designate Titmouse as a fully union studio in Los Angeles, New York, and Vancouver.
Titmouse NY represents the first animation studio outside L.A. County to unionize in decades. As negotiations address workplace concerns and build new protections, the goal is to create industry change and reestablish collective bargaining for all animation workers in New York.
“I am eager to begin negotiations with Titmouse, not just to bring the power of collective bargaining to this group of animation workers, but also to grow and strengthen the already strong relationship we have with Titmouse. The company established productive labor relations with the Guild long ago, helping both the workers and the company grow stronger,” says Steve Kaplan, Business Representative, The Animation Guild, Local 839 IATSE
On Jan. 7, 2022, Titmouse voluntarily recognized unionization efforts in New York, and Titmouse founder Chris Prynoski has often expressed support in the media, stating “these union agreements make it easier for us to advocate on the artists’ behalf to the clients that determine the budgets and the schedules.”
Members of the organizing committee are also eager to sit down at the bargaining table and begin negotiations. Storyboard Artist Chrissy Fellmeth says: “When I talk to my coworkers from the New York studio, I know how passionate they are about what they do and how important it is for us to improve the way we do it. I know the work that we’ll do at the negotiating table is essential to Titmouse, both management and employees, and I am hopeful we can work amicably to achieve our goals together.”
Titmouse LA represents the first animation production crew to unionize in decades. Their negotiations will build on protections that already exist for their TAG co-workers, addressing issues such as health care and overtime, and leading the charge for all animation production workers in LA to unionize.