Toronto – Animation workers from Tangent Animation in Toronto and Winnipeg have succeeded in claiming their legal entitlements to termination and severance pay. In August 2021, the IATSE was approached by former employees of Tangent Animation who were seeking support following the company’s shut down in Toronto and Winnipeg. Tangent, a non-union company, terminated these employees without notice and without paying the termination and severance pay they were owed under employment standards legislation.
“When companies layoff large numbers of employees without notice, they are required to pay higher amounts of termination pay to their workers,” says John Lewis, IATSE International Vice President and Director of Canadian Affairs. “When we were informed of these mass layoffs, we immediately began to put supports in place for these workers.”
Once informed of the layoffs, IATSE immediately wrote to Tangent to demand they pay their workers what was owed to them. IATSE also wrote to the ministries responsible for employment standards enforcement in each province to ensure they were aware of the situation and to demand an immediate investigation into the matter. IATSE then took steps to provide free legal support to all terminated workers by educating them on their legal rights and by providing them with step by step assistance on how to file and successfully pursue employment standards complaints in each province. IATSE staff were also available to lend support and to answer any questions that workers had throughout the process.
“Today we learned that Tangent has been ordered to pay their former employees what they were owed in accordance with provincial laws,” stated Matt Loeb, IATSE International President. “This order will see hundreds of thousands of dollars go directly into the pockets of workers.”
“The IATSE will stand up for animation workers in every province of this country regardless of whether they are actually members of the IATSE,” continued Lewis. “The animation industry is very precarious, and these workers need strong union support to defend their rights and improve their working conditions”.
Workers at Titmouse Animation Vancouver recently voted overwhelmingly in favour of forming a union with IATSE at their workplace and have now ratified their first collective agreement. Animation workers looking to improve their working conditions should contact IATSE International Representative Jeremy Salter at firstname.lastname@example.org.