The Motion Picture Screen Cartoonists, Local 839 IATSE, today won a long delayed ballot count of a National Relations Board organizing election that took place in June, 1999, at Bohbot Kids Network, an animation studio and distribution company with production offices in Los Angeles.
The ballot tally was 38 in favor of union representation versus 3 against, with six challenged ballots. The National Labor Relations Board is set to certify the election tally next week. BKN attorneys had delayed the vote count with legal challenges to the election procedures, which the NLRB overruled in late January.
“This vote reflects the continued desire of animation artists, writers and technicians for decent wages, working conditions and benefits,” said Steve Hulett, Business Representative of Local 839 IATSE. “In the past few years, long term employment has declined in the cartoon business and jumping from studio to studio and project to project has become the norm. Animation workers tell me over and over that what they most want is wage minimums, health and pension benefits that they can take with them from studio to studio. Organizing non-union studios is the only way to do that.”
Bohbot Kids Network currently produces the Jumanji, Starship Troopers and Extreme Ghostbusters animated series for Sony. In January, the German company BKN International announced it was acquiring the assets of the Los Angeles based BKN, Inc., its former parent company.
Local 839 representatives said they hope and expect to negotiate a contract with BKN in the near future. The union is currently in negotiations with DIC Enterprises, where the union won an organizing election two years ago and then waited while the company unsuccessfully challenged the election outcome in the courts.