An eight-member committee voted unanimously on behalf of Solar Opposites production workers to join The Animation Guild (IATSE Local 839), representing the latest victory for labor organization in the industry. The National Labor Relations Board election results were counted Wednesday (4/20), following a two-week-plus voting period.
Solar Opposites debuted in 2020 with a two-season order and has been renewed for a third and fourth season (12 episodes each). The adult animated comedy is produced by 20th Television as a Hulu Original.
The Solar Opposites crew filed a petition for a union election on February 22 after TAG claimed the show’s parent studio had declined to voluntarily recognize a collective bargaining unit. The production workers at sibling show Rick and Morty had also reached out to the Guild, which reports that a recent card count secured voluntary recognition of a bargaining unit for the two-time Emmy-winnning Adult Swim show.
The Guild celebrated the successful vote on Twitter the following day, writing, “Congrats to the Solar Opposites production organizing committee on their NLRB victory! This means the Animation Guild is now officially certified to represent them in bargaining a first union contract.”
Congrats to the #SolarOpposites production organizing committee on their #NLRB victory! This means the #AnimationGuild is now officially certified to represent them in bargaining a first #union contract.#ProductionStrong #UnionStrong #NewDeal4Animation pic.twitter.com/1mvwvWSkjC
— The Animation Guild (@animationguild) April 21, 2022
These wins for labor rights in animation follow the news that Titmouse L.A. completed the studio’s trifecta with a voluntarily recognized union, following the Vancouver and New York studios. The Los Angeles shop filed for an election in March and was voluntarily recognized in swift succession.
TAG is still negotiating with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers in an unprecedented marathon (talks began in November 2021 after being delayed by COVID complications). Dubbed the #NewDeal4Animation, TAG’s goals include equitable compensation for animation writers, better wages and benefits for animators, storyboarders, artists/production workers in design, color and timing departments.
Learn more about The Animation Guild at animationguild.org.
[Sources: The Animation Guild, Hollywood Reporter]