As labor reasserts itself in the Hollywood hierarchy and fights to be treated with respect, production workers at Warner Bros. Animation (WBA) and Cartoon Network (CN) have become the latest group looking to unionize with The Animation Guild (TAG).
A group of nearly 90 workers has filed a petition with the National Labor Relations Board requesting a union election and requested voluntary recognition from Warner Bros. Discovery management.
The bargaining unit includes 66 WBA employees and another 22 at CN, including production managers, production assistants, IT techs, design production coordinators, and more. The group features workers who have contributed to recent and upcoming productions such as Batman: The Caped Crusader, Harley Quinn, Adventure Time: Fionna and Cake, and Craig of the Creek.
Among the reasons for the group’s request was WBD’s recent decision to merge the development and production of Cartoon Network Studios and Warner Bros. Animation. Workers from both studios want to present a unified front to ensure that their jobs and standards are protected throughout the process.
Other reasons that the workers have decided to unionize include a desire for competitive wages, benefits, and overtime pay. The group was also influenced by the recent wave of production workers at other studios voting to join their artist colleagues in TAG, like those working on Rick and Morty, Solar Opposites, The Simpsons, Family Guy, American Dad!, and at studios like Nickelodeon and Bento Box. There is also an ongoing attempt by Walt Disney Animation Studios production workers to join TAG.
In a statement, WBA production manager Hannah Ferenc said:
Although many might not think it, production is a specialized skill; we might not be artists or writers, but what we bring to the table goes beyond traditional creativity and gets content on the air. Having lived through the existing state of the animation industry for the past seven years, I want to make sure that not only our current workers, but all those who choose to join us in the future, can feel secure in following their passion by earning livable wages and being treated with the dignity and respect they deserve.
Pictured at top: Harley Quinn, a Warner Bros. Animation production