The recent vote by DPS Film Roman employees to join The Animation Guild made its annual holiday party merrier for all as animators toasted in their many new brethren on Dec. 10, 2004, at the Pickwick Garden Center in Burbank, California.
This news seemed to warm the spirits of the many still seeking employment with the downturn of available work in 2D and outsourcing to overseas studios with a growing capacity for 3D work. Attendance was huge, 1,000+, as the union invited all interested in animation to its holiday open house celebration with a hosted bar, appetizers lovely Guild-inscribed pen-and-pencil sets given to partygoers.
But having one of the largest animation studios in Los Angeles join the union at last eclipsed another brief appearance by Roy Disney, who was the highlight of last years gathering. DPS Film Roman, celebrating its 20th anniversary, minus founding father Phil Roman, had offered employees equal or better benefits to the union. Now part of the IDT Corp., a huge telecom in New Jersey, the studio cut medical benefits for employees dependents so they would have to start paying for their additional coverage. So animators voted to join the Guild, which extends medical coverage to members and their families at no additional charge. These and other union benefits will transfer to any other union signatory studio the employee may go work for.