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Powerhouse Animation Agrees to Voluntarily Recognize Union

The Animation Guild will represent artists and production workers in upcoming negotiations at the studio; Texas becomes the first Right-to-Work state to have union-represented animation workers.

The Animation Guild (TAG), IATSE Local 839, representing the Powerhouse Animation bargaining unit of 129 artists and production workers, has received voluntary union recognition from the studio. Texas is the first Right-to-Work state and second state outside of California to have union-represented animation workers.

Powerhouse has worked on numerous projects including Masters of the Universe: Revelation and Castlevania.

TAG and Powerhouse Animation will proceed with negotiating a first collective bargaining agreement. This step will strengthen the studio and its workforce's relationship by promoting an environment that encourages creativity, collaboration, and fairness.

“Representing the Powerhouse artistic and production staff further solidifies The Animation Guild as the Union setting the standard for workplace conditions in the animation industry,” said TAG business representative Steve Kaplan. “I also want to commend Powerhouse leadership in reaching a voluntary recognition agreement. I look forward to building on our established good relationship in Los Angeles to reach a first contract with the Austin studio.”

“As a studio founded by animators who wanted to improve the industry, Powerhouse has always tried to put our incredible team of artists first,” commented CEO Brad Graeber, who also serves as the company’s Chief Creative Officer. “We have strived to be a transparent and fair company that does our best to balance the work and life of artists in an industry that often abuses talent. When we learned that our staff wanted to organize, we worked with the union to recognize their organization in a way that was fair for our very unique studio in Texas.”

“It’s such a special moment for me personally to see our coworkers’ commitment and compassion for each other, collaborating with the studio to become the best that it can be so that animation workers can create the work that we love so much,” noted Powerhouse Organizing Committee (OC) member and character artist Suzanne Sharp. “We’re looking forward to sitting down with leadership to make that path together.”

“I can't express how proud we are that Powerhouse management has voluntarily recognized our union,” added OC member and character artist MinJi Yoon. “What I've always loved about working at Powerhouse is the community of skilled and caring people we get to work with. Now we really have the power to fortify what makes this place the groundbreaking studio it is and to advocate for our own working conditions with fair representation. At this critical point for the future of our industry, I'm also incredibly excited to stand in solidarity with the rest of entertainment workers in America!”

Earlier this month, TAG ratified its first collective bargaining agreement with Titmouse Studio in New York, solidifying the rights and protections of the studio's artists and production workers.

Source: The Animation Guild 

Debbie Diamond Sarto's picture

Debbie Diamond Sarto is news editor at Animation World Network.