Coming out of a IA meeting tonight, I was buttonholed by two San Francisco union reps who wanted to know what I know about Pixar, and what I thought the odds were of getting the studio under a union contract. I told them:
John Lasseter and Ed Catmull have less than zero interest in seeing Pixar become a union studio. They ... A) have more flexibility without a labor contract and B) neither of them particularly like unions.
There is no way to stand out in front of the studio and leaflet; people drive in, they don't walk. There is no widespread employee discontent that an organizing drive could build on. My take has always been: any studio can stay non-union by treating its employees decently. And Pixar -- as far as I can tell -- treats its employees decently (at least, decently enough.)
All of this could change if the Writers Guild of America (west) makes a concerted effort to organize Pixar writers and board artists and appears to be making progress, the Disney Co. will probably beat a path to the IATSE's door to get Pixar under a union contract.
I am, you see, a classical cynic. I could have stood there and told the Bay Area reps some encouraging, optimistic twaddle, but why bother? Better to lay out the way it is.