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HomeCraftsAnimationAnimation Guild Reaches Agreement to Represent Austin's Powerhouse Animation

Animation Guild Reaches Agreement to Represent Austin’s Powerhouse Animation


The Animation Guild, IATSE Local 839, announce on Thursday, July , that it had reached a momentous milestone in its history as a union.

After a successful unionization effort to be represented by The Animation Guild, the bargaining unit of 129 artists and production workers at Austin’s Powerhouse Animation have received voluntary recognition from the studio. This marks a significant moment for the animation industry, as Texas becomes the first Right-to-Work state and second state outside of California to have union-represented animation workers.

The Animation Guild and Powerhouse Animation are looking forward to engaging in productive conversations to negotiate a first collective bargaining agreement. This progressive step will further strengthen the relationship between the studio and its valued workforce, fostering an environment that promotes creativity, collaboration, and fairness.

“Representing the Powerhouse artistic and production staff further solidifies The Animation Guild as the Union setting the standard for workplace conditions in the animation industry,” says Steve Kaplan, Business Representative of The Animation Guild. “I also want to commend Powerhouse leadership in reaching a voluntary recognition agreement. I look forward to building on our established good relationship in Los Angeles to reach a first contract with the Austin studio.”

“As a studio founded by animators who wanted to improve the industry, Powerhouse has always tried to put our incredible team of artists first. We have strived to be a transparent and fair company that does our best to balance the work and life of artists in an industry that often abuses talent,” says CEO Brad Graeber, who also serves as the company’s Chief Creative Officer. “When we learned that our staff wanted to organize, we worked with the union to recognize their organization in a way that was fair for our very unique studio in Texas.”

“It’s such a special moment for me personally to see our coworkers’ commitment and compassion for each other, collaborating with the studio to become the best that it can be so that animation workers can create the work that we love so much. We’re looking forward to sitting down with leadership to make that path together,” says Suzanne Sharp, a character artist and member of the Powerhouse Organizing Committee (OC).

Fellow character artist and OC member MinJi Yoon adds: “I can’t express how proud we are that Powerhouse management has voluntarily recognized our union. What I’ve always loved about working at Powerhouse is the community of skilled and caring people we get to work with. Now we really have the power to fortify what makes this place the groundbreaking studio it is and to advocate for our own working conditions with fair representation. At this critical point for the future of our industry, I’m also incredibly excited to stand in solidarity with the rest of entertainment workers in America!”

The Animation Guild has long been at the forefront of advocating for the rights and well-being of animation professionals, ensuring they receive the recognition and support they deserve. Earlier this month, The Animation Guild achieved another landmark by ratifying its first collective bargaining agreement with Titmouse Studio in New York. The agreement solidifies the rights and protections of the studio’s talented artists and production workers, ensuring fair working conditions, competitive compensation, and essential benefits.

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, it represents more than 5,000 artists, technicians and writers in the animation industry, advocating for workers to improve wages and conditions.

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