Wednesday, March 25, 2009

A Brief, Fifty-eight Year History

It might be semi-useful -- since the subject has recently come up -- to briefly reiterate the history of TAG ... how it came to be, and how it came to be chucked out of the IATSE West Coast bargaining unit in 1985.

(This was partially covered in comments down below ... but we add useful, baco-bits of information that many sentient beings don't know ...)

1951 -- TAG founded (starting life as The Motion Picture Screen Cartoonists) wins industry-wide election to represent animation employees.

(The opposition Screen Cartoonists Guild, led by animator Bill Melendez, banished to repping various commercial animation houses until the early sixties. Bill was miffed about it ever after.)

January 1952 -- TAG officially chartered, begins operations.

(And the Charter Members listed on the charter? Lots of different folks; lots of Disney personnel, some of whom were true union believers and some of whom supported the local because Walt told them to.)

1958 -- TAG organizes Hanna-Barbera.

1972 -- T.V. animation starts to be sub-contracted out of the country.

1979 -- TAG strikes television animation studios, wins guarantees regarding staffing levels before work can be subbed out of the country.

1982 -- TAG goes on strike to preserve "runaway clause" in its contract; loses ten-week strike; loses clause from contract.

1983 -- WGAw (Writers Guild of America) files claims with the National Labor Relations Board for animation writers because of lengthy strike and no contract. NLRB rules against WGAw. Television Writers stay with TAG.

1985 -- AMPTP tells the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employes that it will no longer negotiate on behalf of the studios with TAG (Local 839) in the IATSE bargaining unit, in punishment for going out on two successive strikes. IA bargains for a new Basic Agreement without 839 as part of the Bargaining Unit.

1991 -- TAG attempts to organize Film Roman. Loses the NLRB election 5-1.

1995 -- TAG achieves a 401(k) Pension Plan to supplement the two pensions of the Motion Picture Industry Pension and Health Plan.

1995 -- TAG signs contract with DreamWorks Animation.

1998 -- TAG organizes Sony Adelaide.

2000 -- Nine-month contract negotiation fails to gain individual residual for writers, but results in improved freelance rates for scribes.

2003 -- TAG organizes Nickelodeon Animation Studios.

2004 -- TAG organizes Film Roman. This time wins the NLRB election 5-1. (We don't like to rush things too much ...)

2007 --TAG organizes Imagi Animation Studios.

For a definitive look at unions in the animation industry, you can't do better than Tom Sito's Drawing the Line. And Tom always has lots of labor history -- and every other kind of history -- on his excellent blog.


Anonymous said...

no wonder we feel like orphans. thanks for the informative recap.

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