The animation crew of Rick and Morty, one of Adult Swim’s newer blockbusters, has ratified a new labor agreement that will give them hourly wage boosts and health and pension benefits.
The Animation Guild, Local 839 IATSE, was contacted by show staffers in early summer and engineered an organizing drive with artists on the show, which culminated in a union contract last week.
“This is an incredible victory for the Rick and Morty crew,” said Steve Kaplan, organizer for the Animation Guild. “They were the drivers on this, exercising their leverage at the right time. Management knew the artists were a valuable asset to the show, and to their credit, they did the right thing by quickly agreeing to a contract.”
“I’ve been repping the guild for a while now, and this was as focused and dedicated a crew as I’ve seen,” added Steve Hulett, TAG’s long-time business representative. “After management realized the artists were serious about coming under the Animation Guild’s jurisdiction, they moved quickly to negotiate a fair and comprehensive contract. The talks were intense at times, but also cordial and professional.”
The Animation Guild represents over 3,300 animation workers in Southern California. Over the past three years, it has seen a steady increase in its membership.