The dedicated workers at Gladius Animation, a group of 14 talented individuals, have successfully voted to unionize under The Animation Guild, IATSE Local 839 (TAG). On July 12, paperwork was officially filed with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), marking a significant milestone in the pursuit of fair representation for animation workers in Puerto Rico.
The workers at Gladius Animation exercised their collective voice and chose to unite and seek the protections and benefits that come with unionization. By organizing under TAG, these talented workers have taken a decisive step towards ensuring their rights and fair treatment in the workplace.
“By organizing and collaborating together, we strive to build a brighter and prosperous future for all, fostering a stronger company that embraces diversity and promotes transparency to ensure the studio’s success and employees’ well-being,” says Adadell Álvarez, a Texture Artist Lead at the studio.
Modeler Sylvette Rosario echoes the sentiment, adding, “We wanted to have a voice, and be heard. But also we want to make Gladius a more sustainable place to work, opening more doors to retain creative talent in Puerto Rico.”
This win for Gladius Animation workers holds particular significance, as it represents the first time The Animation Guild has successfully organized a studio outside the continental United States. It also underscores the commitment of animation workers to stand together, regardless of their zip code, and pursue fair working conditions, competitive compensation, and essential benefits.
“The artists at Gladius Studios may be small in number, but their unity is mighty,” says TAG Organizer Ben Speight. “This campaign is the latest example that The Animation Guild has the backs of animation artists and workers from LA and NY to Texas and Puerto Rico, and everywhere in between. These workers simply want a seat at the table with their employer and are determined to ensure that animation is able to thrive in Puerto Rico in a just and sustainable way.”
The Animation Guild, also known as Local 839 of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE), was founded in 1952. As a labor union, we represent more than 5,000 artists, technicians and writers in the animation industry, advocating for workers to improve wages and conditions.