Marvel Studios’ VFX workers vote to unionize

(Courtesy IATSE)

In a historic move, the Visual Effects (VFX) Workers at Marvel Studios have unanimously voted in favor of unionizing with the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) in an election conducted by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).

This landmark decision marks the first time a unit of exclusively VFX Workers has unionized with IATSE since the inception of the VFX industry nearly 50 years ago.

The VFX workers initiated the unionization process on August 7, and voting by mail took place from August 21 to September 11. The final vote count, held on September 12, revealed a unanimous agreement among the workers to unionize, with zero votes against. The remarkable turnout and unanimous support reflect the collective determination of Marvel VFX workers to secure the same rights and protections as their unionized counterparts in the broader film and television production industry.

Mark Patch, VFX Organizer for IATSE, emphasized the significance of this moment, stating that Marvel VFX workers “demanded fair pay for the hours they work, healthcare, a safe and sustainable working environment, and respect for the work they do.” This move highlights the need to extend union protections and standards to all VFX workers in the industry.

While various roles in the motion picture and television industry, such as Production Designers, Camera Operators, Sound, Editors, and more, have historically been represented by IATSE, VFX workers have not enjoyed similar representation.

The current unit consists of Marvel’s in-house VFX team, but Walt Disney Pictures VFX employees have already begun their NLRB election, with results expected on October 2. The union anticipates further organizing victories within the VFX sector, and interested VFX workers can connect with union organizers at


The successful unionization of Marvel VFX workers comes during a pivotal moment in the film and television industry, as both the Actors and Writers guilds are engaged in strikes to secure fair contracts with studios and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP).

IATSE International President Matthew D. Loeb praised the VFX workers, saying, “Your bravery, determination, and unity are a beacon for workers not just in VFX, not just in entertainment, but workers in every industry across this country and beyond. You will enter negotiations with Marvel and Disney with the full backing and support of our 170,000 strong alliance. Your fight is our fight.”

The next step for the union is to engage in collective bargaining negotiations with Marvel to draft a contract addressing the needs of the represented workers. These union contracts, known as collective bargaining agreements (CBAs), outline terms and conditions of employment, including wages, hours, and working conditions. Negotiations between the union and the employer will determine the final terms of the CBA. As of now, specific negotiation dates have not been scheduled.

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