Monday, April 21, 2014

Our World, Part II


Bonus Fun

Over the past several days there have been complaints from some laid-off Disney feature employees who are a little chapped. Their story goes like this:

They worked on the animated feature known as Frozen (and many of them on earlier features), and now they're at liberty. (The company's choice, not theirs.)

So they've now discovered that everyone who's labored on the picture, and is still a Disney employee, gets a nice fat bonus check. But they get nada because they no longer work for the company.

For some reason I've received a few e-mails and phone calls about it. ...

And I, good union rep that I am, have (in turn) called the company on their behalf. And said this:

I understand these bonuses Diz Co. is handing out to Frozen staffers are discretionary, and totally within the corporation's purview. But look at the situation from these separated employees' perspectives. They worked alongside everybody else, worked their tails off the get the picture done, worked to the best of their abilities, and then the company laid them off.

I get how someone who resigned and went somewhere else, maybe left in the middle of the picture, deserves nothing. They walked out, so the hell with them. But these people wanted to stay. And they worked hard. And the company used their work. And Frozen ended up making a billion-plus dollars.

I understand that the Walt Disney Company is under no obligation to pay a separated employee more of anything (or a non-separated employee, for that matter), but the crew-members were doing pretty much the same job on the same movie, and now months later, some get a big extra check and some don't rate so much as an all-day sucker.

You okay with that? ...

The answer (paraphrased) was, "The company's policy is to pay bonuses to current division employees, whether they worked on a given picture or not, and that's what the company does."

Our world, Disney style.

5 comments:

Floyd Norman said...

Harsh.

Steve Hulett said...

And they ain't budging an INCH.

F. Kousac said...

I hear the bonuses were anywhere between 3 and 5 months salary. Nice. And the executives and producers got giant bonuses in the mid 6 digits.

I guess this is good to know the next time they ask you to skip your kid's baseball game to put in those extra hours. The only ones who matter are the very few at the top.

'Twas ever thus.

Steve Hulett said...

Regarding the size of bonuses, my information (second hand) is that it's the equivalent of ten weeks salary.

Suzanne Powell said...

I totally feel for those people but I think that it's a symptom of the overall mentality of animators, artists etc. expecting that corporations will keep their feelings in mind and do the right thing. If more artists insisted on having certain clauses added to their contract or looking out for their own interests instead of being dazzled by the name of the company they are being asked to work for - perhaps things like this wouldn't happen. The reason the people at top get those bonuses is because they negotiated for it. Granted they probably are minions of hell and I seriously doubt they worked as hard as the animators who were let go, you have to reason that the fact they remained and the others did not is because they KNOW how to play the game. Don't be a cog, don't just accept what's given. Ask for more, every time and you might be surprised at what you might be able to garner.

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