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Walt Disney Animation’s Workers Overwhelmingly Vote to Unionize

It’s official. Walt Disney Animation Studios production workers have voted to unionize.

A total of 63 employees, officially voted Wednesday to join the IATSE union Local 839, also known as The Animation Guild. A total of 68 members voted on the motion; five voted against it.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, if neither of the parties files an objection to the result in five days, they will be certified and labor and management can begin bargaining a first contract.

Initially, there was some confusion about where certain members within this production unit were even allowed to unionize. It was strongly discouraged by Disney because they believed that production managers and supervisors weren’t on the same level as some of the other team members. This was debunked in late September by the National Labor Review Board. Shortly after, an election to fill all of the union sector’s roles was commissioned.

This past March, the group expressed a clear intent to unionize. Because Disney refused to recognize the group, those organization efforts initially failed.

This development comes nearly one month after many of Disney’s VFX workers voted unanimously to unionize and just a few weeks before Disney’s next big animated feature, Wish.

It’s unclear what these workers joining The Animation Guild could mean for the film (if anything). Still, we expect some more news about the next steps in the process in the coming weeks.

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