N.Y. Postproduction Coordinators Vote to Join CWA Union

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New York-based freelance postproduction coordinators unanimously voted to unionize with the Communications Workers of America in eight separate union representation elections that took place Thursday.

The coordinators, part of the organizing group calling itself the Post Production Guild, won all eight National Labor Relations Board union representation elections, according to the CWA. (The Hollywood Reporter has reached out to the NLRB for confirmation.) The elections took place at Apple Studios; Netflix Productions; CBS Studios and Eye Productions; Universal Television and Universal Content Productions; Possible Productions; Hostage Productions, TCS US Productions 9, Inc., Omega Rising Productions, Inc., and Newsub 120 Productions, Inc.; North Center Productions; and Random Productions, Heyday Productions, Sourdough Productions.

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The Post Production Guild, composed of more than 150 freelance workers who have worked on shows like American Rust, A Quiet Place 2 and Modern Love, initially sought to represent post producers, postproduction supervisors and postproduction coordinators on scripted film and television projects. The CWA says postproduction supervisors and post producers don’t currently have any NLRB elections scheduled.

New York freelance postproduction coordinators haven’t previously had union representation, according to the CWA. “I am proud of the phenomenal organizing that led us to this victory,” Disney postproduction coordinator Lauren Orban said in a statement. “It is a bright new day for post production coordinators in New York, who have been overlooked and undervalued for a long time.”

Added Lionsgate/Starz postproduction coordinator Jill Christiano in a statement, “Our passion, commitment and hard work keeps the city’s motion picture industry thriving and we deserve to be treated and valued accordingly. Today’s win is a major step in that direction and we will not stop until we have a strong first contract.”

The Post Production Guild filed for the NLRB elections after the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers “repeatedly refused” to voluntarily recognize the group though “virtually all” eligible workers signed union cards, the CWA said months ago. At the time, AMPTP spokesperson Jarryd Gonzales responded in a statement that “The AMPTP and its member companies strongly respect the rights of all employees under federal labor law to decide whether to be represented by a union” and added that the CWA had chosen to deem “those who stand by the secret ballot election process as ‘anti-union.'”

When they first announced their unionization effort in March, Post Production Guild members said they were looking to set wage minimums and weekly guarantees, standardize wages and job descriptions, receive union insurance, pension and benefits and mandatory overtime after 10-12 hours, implement weekend premiums and vacation pay and put in place a “clear and fair reporting structure” for discrimination and/or harassment complaints.

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