Imageworks management responds to organization effort

Imageworks employees are treated to a gathering on a semi-monthly basis, appropriately named monthlies. For those of you who haven’t spent any time there, the format is pretty simple. A handful of executives will get up in front of the theater and speak briefly about their respective departments, and they will talk about corporate direction, future bids, etc. Next, a Visual Effects supervisor or two will address the crowd and do a brief presentation on the shows that they are leading. Finally, sizzle reels for the shows in production are displayed for folks to see what other teams are working on.

It’s a nice way to take a break from work, see other folks face to face, appreciate their work, and have a few beers afterward.

This monthlies, however, had an interesting twist. Imageworks executive Randy Lake addressed the crowd and made everyone aware that management knows about the organization attempt. He said that while he respects the rights of employees to organize, he would encourage those employees to check out some of the benefits that Imageworks already offers employees. He then proceeded to encourage folks to get in contact with P&O (Sony speak for HR) to see what sort of benefits they have available to them.

While we don’t discount the fact that Imageworks offers benefits to freelancers and better benefits to staff members, we should point out the biggest issue with Mr. Lake’s points: most of the employees in that room are going to leave Imageworks at some point in the future, voluntarily or otherwise.

Even if Sony offered its freelancers the best benefits in the world, it wouldn’t change the fact that as soon as they leave, they would no longer be eligible for any of these. That’s where the Union comes in. Health care, pension, and 401(k) are portable with the Union, so not only do you get great benefits, you get to keep them no matter where you work, providing you work a certain number of hours at a union shop per year.


4 Responses to Imageworks management responds to organization effort

  1. Thanks for posting this information. While you make a good point regarding the portability of union benefits, what Mr. Lake assumes is that the sole reason for unionizing is access to the Motion Picture Industry Pension and Health Plans. While I’d gladly argue that these plans are superior to any offered by a visual effects studio, they are a fringe benefit to being a union member .. not the reason.

    The purpose of unionization is the ability to have a voice in shaping standards and conditions inside the workplace. That use of the inherent leverage that comes with the skills and talent that got you in the door, to set barriers against a company from supporting its pursuit of profit on your back .. that’s the reason for unionizing.

    Is my feeling that enough has happened in the industry that artists are starting to understand the harsh reality that studios will seek profits against the visual effects shops, and visual effects shops will seek profit against the artists. That’s just business and there’s nothing wrong with that. Unionization will set barriers against that profit seeking from going too far into their wallets, personal lives, and even health and welfare.

    Unionization is the way to make being a vfx artist a better career.

  2. David Dang says:

    When you guys are ready to stop being slack-ivists, and quit talking the talk and walking the walk, let me know, until then I’ll be occupying May Day w/ the Black Riders in South Central on May 1st. Nuff said.

    Your Directful Dang

  3. David Dang says:

    From what I’ve noticed w/ other artists, there’s too many punk ass bitches to ever get a movement going. Everyone I know is to dang scared. While I occupthehoodla and repping the millionhhodla movement, trying to learn from those that have fought for their rights in the 60s first hand, everyone else is to damn busy working for who they’re struggling against. And I’m not trolling, I’m keeping it the flippin’ real. I flippin dare you to challenge me as I call you punk asses out on your passive agressive bull, and not willing to put your name on certain issues. You guys had been moving to dang slow in researching so much legality, nobody outside of the industry is fully aware of the flippin issue. You guys gotta scatter the msg yourselves, you guys waited to long for LA Times to get a flippin article out… You guys can’t do much your dang selves. Nuff said At the moment. Until then, racial profiling will end before we ever get our act together and reserve our rights w/ these studios. #occupthehoodla #millionhoodiela #occupla, occupyvfx, I’m not even sure anymore w/ us. I suppose I’ll just hear people bitch and moan about long hrs, and not do a dang thing about it, thinking it’s a badge of honro to be such a flippin slave. Again, prove me wrong, people. I’ve done my best, and nobody I’ve talked to dare listens in public, too afraid. Quite of few of them feels that we don’t dereserve to have those rights, and it’s survival of the fittest. How sick is that? Let me know if you want their names, we don’t need scabbers, might as well soak them out those sell-outs.

    Your Directful Dang

  4. cat stevens says:

    David Dang on linkedin…….averaging a 3 month contract doing roto/paint at every chop shop in town. As he said above. “Nuff said. “

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