This week, the union that represents around 550 feature film animators and writers and The Walt Disney Company will launch contract negotiations on a successor deal to the current master contract.
At Disney’s request, this three year contract has been extended from its October 31 expiration. The talks took place yesterday as well as today, and will recess until January 25, according to Variety.
The Animation Guild represents Disney animators, and operate as Local 839 of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees. This contract known as the Secret Lab contract dates back to 1999.
The Animation Guild contract covered all work performed on “Frozen,” “Big Hero 6,” “Wreck-It Ralph” and the new movie “Zootopia,” which will open in March. This contract does not cover films shot by Disney’s Pixar division, which Disney acquired in 2006 for $7 billion and remains a non-union operation.
In August, members of the Animation Guild ratified a three-year successor deal to its master contract with producers of other studios, including Warner Bros. Animation, DreamWorks Animation, and Sony Pictures Animation. The agreement covered 3,000 animators and writers, and included 3% annual wage increases to contract minimums, a 10% pension increase and 30% increase for contribution hours.