Tuesday, August 02, 2016

The Short Goodbye

So Arc Productions, cartoon company of Canada, exits hastily, stiffing employees as it goes.

“We regret to inform you that Arc is experiencing significant financial difficulties and a liquidity crisis,” [Arc] CEO Tom Murray wrote to his staff in a letter. “Despite the very best efforts of management to find a solution to this financial emergency, we have not been able to resolve this matter with our lender.”

Among other projects, Arc was in production on the feature Blazing Samurai ..., which is scheduled for release next year by Open Road Films. ...

And so on and so forth. (The original notification of Arc's sudden demise can be found here.)

This kind of stuff happens. often the way it goes is: Company has financial problems. Doesn't pay employees. Employees get miffed.

And when employees voice dissatisfaction over the "no wages" thingie, the company plays its bullying/loyalty cards: "Hey, you'll get paid! Just have patience! We need everybody to remain at their desks, grinding away! What's the matter, don't you know we're GOOD for it!? Where's your LOYALTY?! We're a FAMILY!!" ... (etc.)

I've seen the above scenario play out any number of times, occasionally for as long as a month: a studio will keeps its doors open, making promises to the staff that payment of back wages is imminent, and employees keep working. (Why folks remain on the job at a non-paying company doing charity work is a head scratcher, but there it is).

However, in this case, it appears that Arc owes its employees one cycle of pay and accrued vacation money, and it has had the good grace to close up shop and inform people that Canada has a "Wage Earner Protection Program" that can be accessed. It's useful the company didn't string people along for any length of time, because that has too often been the pattern.

We wish Arc's now-marooned employees the best in finding new work. Canada has lots of animation and VFX companies working at high capacity just now, so new opportunities should soon present themselves.


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