Further to situations that have unfolded within the visual effects community involving employees of Nitrogen Studios in Vancouver and ARC Productions in Toronto, on August 24, the IATSE extended an open invitation to all members of the VFX community to offer assistance. The assistance comes in the form of working with former ARC employees to help them with paperwork required by the government to claim a portion of unpaid wages, and for both the former employees of ARC and Nitrogen, arranging a meeting with our legal counsel to determine if there is a process by which we can move forward.
The IATSE has been working closely with VFX artists for years, many of whom have relayed stories of unnecessary hardship and unfair treatment in the workplace. Many VFX artists have voiced an interest in union representation, but due to a number of factors they have expressed (including the temporary nature of their work and its portability), standing up and uniting has been challenging. The IATSE is inherently familiar with the situation and is encouraging these workers to reach out and begin the conversation.
IATSE has represented working people in entertainment across North America for over 120 years and is uniquely positioned to deal with issues specific to the visual effects industry as it closely mirrors, and is an integral part of, the film and television industry. IATSE International President Matthew D. Loeb stated, “Visual effects workers are in an untenable situation, and something’s gotta give. The entire visual effects industry now operates on race-to-the-bottom conditions, which is unacceptable for these highly skilled people. The IATSE does not want to see this situation continue to go unchecked, so we urge those in the VFX community to contact us for support and assistance. These workers deserve better.”
Interested visual effects artists and technicians are encouraged to reach out to us through the VFX union website.