Bento Box Entertainment Editors Syndicate With Motion Picture Editors Guild

Editorial employees at animation studio Bento Box Entertainment unionized with the Motion Picture Editors Guild after management agreed to voluntarily recognize the group through card verification.

A third-party arbitrator confirmed that a majority of the 15 bargaining unit members had signed clearance cards, clearing the way for voluntary recognition, MPEG (IATSE Local 700) said Friday. The bargaining unit includes employees who work in pre- and post-production at the company, responsible for series including Paradise PD and Familiaras well as the next show Krapopolis. In their roles, covered workers edit voice actor recordings, build animatics (essentially animated storyboards) based on artwork created in pre-production, and edit other post-production sound and imagery on animated projects. from Bento Box.

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The Hollywood Reporter asked Bento Box for comment. A map check, which essentially tests whether a union has majority support among the group of workers it wishes to cover and allows both the union and the employer to avoid a formal National Labor Relations Board election , is a method that management and workers typically use to reach a voluntary recognition agreement.

“We are proud of the Bento Box team for taking steps to unionize their workplace, and we are thrilled to welcome them to the Guild family,” MPEG Chairman Alan Heim said in a statement. “As a union parent in animation Guild fight for a #NewDeal4Animation have been clear, animated content plays a huge role in fueling our industry. But too often, the editorial craftsmen who help bring this content to the screen don’t enjoy the same union protections as their live-action counterparts. Kudos to the Bento Box team for standing up to say they deserve a union too.

MPEG is already covering some writers on projects at Bento Box Entertainment, including the Fox animated sitcom Bob’s Burgers, because these projects are carried out in collaboration with studios that have signed the syndicate’s contracts. And other Bento Box workers are also already unionized, including a group allied with The Animation Guild (IATSE Local 839).

Editorial group Bento Box is the latest to unionize in an era that has seen a flurry of animation organizing activity: Earlier this year, production workers from the animated sitcom Hulu solar opposites unionized via an NLRB election, while the card count resulted in voluntary union recognition for production workers at the Los Angeles outpost of animation studio Titmouse and the Adult Swim animated comedy rick and morty. The Animation Guild also expanded beyond the Los Angeles area for the first time, organizing more than 100 workers at the New York site of Titmouse earlier this year.

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