Warner Bros. Discovery Recognizes Unionization Of Their Animation Studio And Cartoon Network

Robin The Boy Wonder and furry wooded creatures in Teen Titans Go! & DC Super Hero Girls: Mayhem in the Multiverse (2022), Warner Bros. Animation
Robin The Boy Wonder and furry wooded creatures in Teen Titans Go! & DC Super Hero Girls: Mayhem in the Multiverse (2022), Warner Bros. Animation

Five months after the SAG-AFTRA strikes ended and the studios came to an agreement with the unions, Warner Bros. Discovery now recognizes the efforts by production workers at Cartoon Network and WB Animation to form a union under The Animation Guild, IATSE Local 839.

Metamorpho (Adam Baldwin) embraces who he has become in Beware the Batman Season 1 Episode 17 "Monsters" (2014), Warner Bros. Animation
Metamorpho (Adam Baldwin) embraces who he has become in Beware the Batman Season 1 Episode 17 “Monsters” (2014), Warner Bros. Animation

“After months of discussions with the studio, I am proud that we were able to reach an agreement with Warner/Discovery for representation of animation production workers at Warner Bros. Animation and Cartoon Network Studios,” 839 Business Representative Steve Kaplan said to Deadline.

“The recent Walt Disney Animation Studios NLRB decision regarding the appropriate placement of Production Managers and Production Supervisors in a bargaining unit certainly helped the company better understand our demand to include those categories, and our long-standing productive relationship helped to forge the agreement we signed,” he added. 

The Parrot Pirate Polly (Em Hagen) talks about the Davey Jones curse in We Baby Bears Season 2 Episode 2 Polly's New Crew (2023), Cartoon Network Studios
The Parrot Pirate Polly (Em Hagen) talks about the Davey Jones curse in We Baby Bears Season 2 Episode 2 Polly’s New Crew (2023), Cartoon Network Studios

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“The Animation Guild looks forward to continuing that relationship as we begin to bargain the terms and working conditions of an agreement for the hard-working animation production staff at the two companies,” Kaplan continued.

The newly unionized positions include Production Manager, Digital Production Assistant, Production Assistant Production Coordinator, IT Technician, Design Production Coordinator, Assistant Production Manager, Sr. Assistant Production Manager, and Creative Production Assistant.

The titular trio prepares to put a stop to Mojo Jojo's (Roger Jackson) latest plans in The Powerpuff Girls Season 1 Episode 1 "Monkey See, Doggie Do/Mommy Fearest" (1999), Cartoon Network
The titular trio prepares to put a stop to Mojo Jojo’s (Roger Jackson) latest plans in The Powerpuff Girls Season 1 Episode 1 “Monkey See, Doggie Do/Mommy Fearest” (1999), Cartoon Network

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“Although many might not think it, Production is a specialized skill; we might not be artists or writers, but what we bring to the table goes beyond traditional creativity and gets content on the air,” said  Hannah Ferenc, WBA production manager.

“Having lived through the existing state of the Animation industry for the past seven years, I want to make sure that not only our current workers, but all those who choose to join us in the future, can feel secure in following their passion by earning livable wages and being treated with the dignity and respect they deserve,” she continued.

Space Ghost interviews Conan O'Brien while on fire in Space Ghost Coast to Coast Season 6 Episode 7 "Fire Ant" (1999), Cartoon Network
Space Ghost interviews Conan O’Brien while on fire in Space Ghost Coast to Coast Season 6 Episode 7 “Fire Ant” (1999), Cartoon Network

Despite Ferenc’s comments, the unionized entity now recognized by WBD was hit with layoffs. Ten workers were let go while a half-dozen others were promoted, according to Deadline. Consequently, the number of staffers — 66 at WBA and 22 at Cartoon Network — that would’ve benefited has been reduced to 50.

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