The wage suppression involving animation and visual effects artists has been in the news a lot, and Disney/Pixar Animation chief Ed Catmull has been at or near the center of the alleged collusion between various Hollywood and San Francisco cartoon studios keeping salaries of nine-to-fivers down.
The above is pretty well known at this point, an old story that's gone the rounds and come back again, nothing fresh to chew on. But earlier this week I was talking about the subject to a former Disney employee and a new wrinkle cropped up. It went like this ...
Former Employee: When Disney Animation had personal service contracts, back six or seven years ago, management had us come into meetings. And Ed Catmull explained how they were doing away with PSCs because they thought it would be better for all us Disney employees not to be tied down.
Hulett: I remember. People at Feature Animation asked me about it. I said it was just a way for the studio to save money. Employees wouldn't be locked into automatic raises in personal service contracts every year, wouldn't be focused on raises because they'd be "at will" and more concerned about keeping their jobs.
FE: There was something else. Ed told us without the PSCs, everybody was free to go work someplace else if they got a better gig. The company wouldn't stop people from moving on. But the companies out there were talking to each other and keeping wages down, so how could anybody go get a higher-paying job? And Ed knew about this when he was talking to employees. When he was pushing the "free to get a better deal" thing.
ME: Imagine that. ...
Management dissembling. Alert the media.