Solar Opposites Production Team Votes To Join The Animation Guild

The team behind "Solar Opposites," the adult animated Hulu series co-created by Justin Roiland of "Rick & Morty" fame is about to become a whole lot more powerful. As was announced yesterday, the eight-member bargaining unit unanimously voted to join the IATSE Local 839 Animation Guild in a National Labor Relations Board election. The group cast their vote on Wednesday, with "Solar Opposites" production coordinator Dana Bell taking to Twitter to announce the results of the vote and to give thanks to everyone who supported the team in their effort. The "Solar Opposites" team first filed the petition for a union election back in February in solidarity with the team at "Rick & Morty" after the show's parent studios of Adult Swim and 20th Century Fox allegedly declined to voluntarily recognize a requested bargaining unit.

The bargaining unit for the show includes production managers, production supervisors, design assistants, casting assistants, storyboard coordinators, and office production coordinators and assistants. When the announcement of their plan to unionize was first made public, Kallan Zimmerman, a production manager on "Solar Opposites" noted that "Production workers are the heart of the animation industry and have been underappreciated and under-compensated for far too long" and that "it's time for us to have a seat at the table alongside our artist colleagues." Dana Bell echoed the sentiment by saying, "I'm excited to unite with my coworkers in production who work so hard in these shows, to join forces with the artists at TAG, and to work towards getting the recognition and the benefits that we deserve." 

Wonderfully, the motion passed, and the team is joining The Animation Guild.

Another win for The Animation Guild

The successful election marks yet another victory for The Animation Guild in regard to organizing production workers. Titmouse, Inc. ("Superjail!," "The Venture Bros." and "Big Mouth") were voluntarily recognized following a card count last month, but when the contracts for the company as well as "Rick & Morty" and "Solar Opposites" are negotiated, they will be making history. When all is said and done, "it will be the first time in recent history" that the Guild will cover such workers, one Guild representative told The Hollywood Reporter. This is a huge win for the Guild, but it certainly isn't going to stop here.

Last month the Animation Guild held a rally to encourage organization and a vote to unionize for animation workers across the industry, with hundreds showing up to show their support. The Guild is currently still in negotiations with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) regarding a new master agreement for animation, known through social media channels as #NewDeal4Animation. 

Animation workers are currently woefully underpaid and overworked, and considering animation was keeping the industry alive during the pandemic when live-action projects came to a screeching halt, the AMPTP would be wise to give the Guild whatever they want. They deserve it, and they have deserved it for a very, very long time.