Q: So what kind of grievances does TAG do?
A: All kinds.
Over the years we’ve had grievances over screen credit, grievances over unpaid wages and overtime, grievances over illegal termination. The list is long ...
We once had a grievance involving a background artist who had a meeting with a producer that the artist thought was a good meeting, but the producer decided was terrible. The producer walked out and told a production assistant to fire the artist, which the assistant did … almost immediately.
Problem was, this instant termination – which wasn’t for theft or gross insubordination – is in violation of the contract. After we filed a grievance, the artist stayed terminated, but he got a big chunk of money for getting axed because the company had violated the contract.
We filed a grievance over whether an artist had drawn X-rated images in his designs. We maintained that he didn’t, and after a full arbitration we lost.
We filed a grievance for two animation writers who created a television series with the promise of a bonus if their creation became a network show. It became a network show, the producer said “no bonus,” that the memo that had promised the bonus was null and void. The arbitrator ruled otherwise, and the writers got their bonus.
The biggest grievance we’ve filed was on behalf of a large, feature animation staff that was being laid off en masse. TAG claimed that the layoffs were due to “technological change” and therefore due displacement money. The arbitrator – after a year of research and hearings – ruled “No.”
Most grievances never get to arbitration, but are settled before a hearing happens.
Thanks for asking.