The Animation Guild’s solidarity rally held yesterday in Burbank, California, recorded a strong and spirited turnout. Organizers didn’t have a firm number of the turnout, but various numbers from the organizers have put the range between 300 to 900 people.
The rally was held in support of ongoing negotiations between The Animation Guild (TAG) IATSE Local 839, which represents animation workers, and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP), representing film and television studios. Contract talks began last November, and the two sides have negotiated for an “unprecedented” twelve days, but have as yet been unable to reach an agreement. A new round of negotiations is set to begin tomorrow.
In previous articles – here and here – we’ve covered some of the issues that industry workers are trying to have addressed in their new three-year contract. TAG-represented workers have been working without a contract since last July, when the previous three-year contract expired.
The Animation Guild has not held a rally of this sort since the animation labor strike of the early 1980s. Labor organizer Jane McAlevey described last weekend’s rally to The Hollywood Reporter as a “structure test,” adding that, “We’re trying to see how many TAG members and our allies would show up when there is a call to action.”
TAG organizer and field representative Ben Speight told THR that “there’s a lot of distance” between animation workers and the AMPTP.
In addition to speeches from union leadership and various workers, short speeches in support of the union were given by Burbank vice mayor Konstantine Anthony and Burbank council member Nick Schultz.
Some of the flavor of yesterday’s rally can be found on social media from those who attended the event. We’ve collected some of those tweets below:
— Animation Guild Writers (@TAGwriters) March 20, 2022
So incredible to see a bunch of familiar faces in person too 🥺 pic.twitter.com/iFGQqlJz8f
— Cassey Kuo (@sleepy_kc) March 21, 2022
— T L S (@tomsmithcartoon) March 21, 2022
— Bill Wolkoff (@flying_lobster) March 20, 2022
Look at that crowd! #AnimationGuild President Jeanette Moreno King proudly serves these engaged members who attended the rally in solidarity #NewDeal4Animation #Rally4Animation pic.twitter.com/eoUwcDc85v
— The Animation Guild (@animationguild) March 20, 2022
It was genuinely moving seeing such a huge turn out with so many friends at the #Rally4Animation!
Remember: Without our work- these companies have no shows + movies to make millions off of.
They’re powerless without us.
Dont ever let them forget that. pic.twitter.com/esWG60xMNk
— Michael Rianda (@michaelrianda) March 20, 2022
— nora meek #NewDeal4Animation (@misterslunchy) March 21, 2022
— Jean Kang (@jeandrawsstuff) March 20, 2022
— Louie Zong (@everydaylouie) March 21, 2022
Photo at top via Animation Guild Writers Twitter account