Animation Guild Celebrates 70th Anniversary

This week The animation guild (TAG) is celebrating its 70th anniversary since being chartered as a local chapter of IATSE in 1952. The union organization represents animation and visual effects and strives to provide a “seamless mask of benefits and strength of a collective voice to its members in the animation industry”.

Over the course of its history, it has achieved many milestones – here’s a look back at some of the highlights:

  • 1952 – January 18 – The Cinema Screen Designers Guild, IATSE Local 839 is born!
  • 1958 – Local 839 successfully organizes Hanna-Barbera Productions. Welcome Yogi Bear.
  • 1960 – October 11 – Warner Bros. The Bugs Bunny Show debuts on ABC. It features the credit: “Additional artwork by MPSC Local 839 members. »
  • 1979 – August – Local 839 goes on strike against major television studios Hanna-Barbera Productions, Ruby-Spears Productions and DePatie-Freleng Enterprises. Ten days later, the strike ended. The studios agree to a “runaway clause” guaranteeing studio staffing levels before a limited amount of work can be outsourced out of the country.
  • 1980 – Local 839 establishes the American Animation Institute to provide reasonably priced training in the art and craft of animation by professionals in the animation industry.
  • 1982 – August 6 – Despite the 1979 victory, the studios refuse to renew the “runaway clause” limiting outsourcing out of the country. Following an overwhelming vote to authorize a strike, the 1,600 members of Local 839 go on strike against all animation studios in Los Angeles. The 10-week strike ends with studios refusing to address the “leak clause”.
  • 1987 – The Society for Animation Studies is founded with a grant from Local 839. The society has held an annual conference since 1989 and publishes Animation Studies, a peer-reviewed journal.
  • 1995 – Spring – Local 839 signs a contract with the newly formed DreamWorks Animation.
  • 2002 – July – The Motion Picture Screen Cartoonists Guild changes its name to The Animation Guild and Affiliated Electronic and Graphic Artists, IATSE Local 839.
  • 2002 – November – Nickelodeon Animation Studios signs its first collective agreement with Local 839, bringing Dora the Explorer and Sponge Bob SquarePants within the Guild.
  • 2004 – October – Perseverance pays off. By an overwhelming majority of 166 to 20, DPS Film Roman employees vote to join TAG. The product workshop The simpsons and king of the hill for Fox. The contract was ratified in January 2005.
  • 2014 – September – After taking the unusual decision to hold mid-production, the team of rick and morty ratify a new collective agreement with TAG.
  • 2015 – Sideletter N enters the collective bargaining agreement, setting minimum wages and improving working conditions for new media (streaming).
  • 2018 – April – TAG announces that more than 25% of workers under union contract are women. This is the first time in modern history that the 25% mark has been reached.
  • 2019 – June 21 – Following an overwhelming vote of approval, the Shadowmachine’s team BoJack Rider ratifies a contract with TAG.
  • 2022 – January 10 – TAG announces that Titmouse NY has organized under Local 839, the first time the Guild will represent an animation studio outside of LA County.

Source: Animation Guild

Debbie Diamond Sarto's photo

Debbie Diamond Sarto is associate editor at Animation World Network.

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