Oct 7, 2022 | News Story

Animation Guild Expands New York Organizing Push With ‘Tooning Out the News’ Effort

The Animation Guild plans to further expand the union’s footprint in New York with a new effort to organize Paramount+’s Stephen Colbert Presents Tooning Out the News. Tooning Out the News workers presented management with a request for voluntary recognition last Thursday and additionally filed a petition for a union election with the National Labor Relations Board. Thirty-eight workers, in roles including character designers, graphic artists and riggers, will be included in the union.

The effort at the animated news satire series, co-created and executive produced by Stephen Colbert, is only the second organizing attempt by the IATSE Local in New York in recent history. Earlier this year, TAG won voluntary recognition for a union at studio Titmouse New York (Harriet the Spy), marking its first union outside of Los Angeles County since the signing of the Local’s charter in 1952.

Animation Guild organizer Ben Speight says the workers involved in the drive currently do not have health care or retirement benefits, paid time off or overtime protections. He adds that, with the union drive, the workers will also fight for increased pay. “But in reality, it’s about having a seat at the table around those and so many other things,” Speight says. “Many of the issues related to having a voice in the production process and just making sure they are heard.” Read more in The Hollywood Reporter.