Employees of Floyd County Productions, the largest animation studio in the state of Georgia, have taken a big step toward unionization. They have announced the creation of Floyd County Productions Guild and asked their management to voluntarily recognize it.
The Atlanta-based studio, which was founded in 2009, is known for producing FXX’s Emmy-winning series Archer. It also produced Unsupervised and Chozen, both also for FX. In 2017, it was announced to be a partner on Netflix’s upcoming adult animated feature America: The Motion Picture.
The workforce launched their guild as part of the Communications Workers of America (CWA), the vast 450,000-member communications and media union. The CWA has provided support through its CODE-CWA initiative, which aims to organize the tech, game, and digital industries in the U.S. and Canada.
All non-management workers at Floyd County will be able to take up union membership. The guild encompasses artists, animators, IT workers, editors, systems engineers, background artists, layout artists, and more.
People familiar with the organizing efforts tell Cartoon Brew that, of the 150 eligible workers, around 100 have expressed interest, with more than 80 signing a request for representation. If management does not recognize the union, workers can petition the National Labor Relations Board. If more than 30% of affected employees do so, the board can arrange a vote at the studio on whether to join the union.
“This union builds upon years of passionate organizing by Floyd County Production workers,” said Margeaux McClelland, a 3d texture artist at the studio, in a statement. “We are excited to work together as a collective to continue building a workplace where everyone receives their fair share and can thrive in a culture of mutual respect and transparency.”
Adds illustrator Brenden Lewis, “Our union will represent all workers at Floyd County Productions in order to ensure everyone receives fair compensation for their work, while also improving transparency around employee benefits and building a culture that reflects the values, diversity and strength of its workers.…By giving us a true voice and seat at the table, we can start collaborating and negotiating for a more equitable workplace.”
While the L.A. animation industry is represented by IATSE’s The Animation Guild, Local 839, workers in the rest of the country are not currently unionized. The situation is similar in Canada, where staff at Titmouse Vancouver and Montreal’s Oasis Animation recently took groundbreaking steps toward unionization. Floyd County studio sources told Cartoon Brew that Titmouse Vancouver’s vote to unionize gave a boost to their own ongoing efforts to do the same.
Cartoon Brew’s request for comment from Floyd County Productions was not answered.
Across all industries, Georgia is one of the least unionized states in the U.S.: only 4.6% of workers belonged to a union in 2020, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In California, the number was 16.2%.