Studio City, California-based animation studio Fred Films has signed an agreement with the International Alliance of Theatrical and Stage Employees and its Motion Picture Screen Cartoonists Local 839 IATSE (Local 839). Fred Films and Local 839 have been in negotiations since the union received representation cards from a majority of the company's staff. The studio agreed to recognize Local 839 as the bargaining representative of its employees after an independent arbitrator confirmed a "card count," thus bypassing the typically time consuming process of a National Labor Relations Board election. "We're delighted that a new, young studio recognizes the worth of extending union benefits to its staff," said Local 839 president Kevin Koch. "We look forward to many years of fruitful collaboration with Fred Films." Founded by former Hanna-Barbera and Nick Toons executive Fred Seibert, Fred Films is currently producing the series MY NEIGHBOR IS A TEENAGE ROBOT, created by Rob Renzetti and scheduled to premiere on Nickelodeon in fall 2002.