Wednesday, February 15, 2017

“Let Trump Go”: Orlando Residents Launch Campaign Calling on Disney To Leave Trump Council

Today in Orlando, Florida, a wide coalition of community members, faith leaders, immigrant organizations, students, Disney employees, and labor unions will gather at Walt Disney World to launch a nationwide campaign calling on Disney CEO Bob Iger to quit Donald Trump’s Strategic and Policy Forum, and further, to renounce policies announced by the president and his cabinet appointees.

The campaign is being put together by Organize Florida, a nonpartisan, 501(c)4 nonprofit organization that both trains and develops leaders and organizes families in low-to-moderate-income communities in Florida. Their cheeky title for the campaign is #DisneyLetHimGo, a play on the hit song “Let It Go” from Frozen. They say:

Led by immigrants and Disney workers themselves, racial and social justice activists say this is only the first step in what will be a continuous fight to protect the health and well-being of all people—including immigrants, people of color, minimum wage workers, and the LGBT community during the Trump administration. The leader of Orlando’s hometown business needs to stand up for the values of Disney and the Central Florida community.

At the rally, the group will deliver more than 100,000 signed petitions to Disney demanding that Iger to step down from Trump’s council. More details on today’s gathering can be found at the Organize Florida web site.


Disney Makes $100 Million Settlement with Animation Workers in Hollywood Studio Antitrust Lawsuit

Settlement in the class-action lawsuit filed workers in December 2014 on behalf of animation and VFX workers covers Disney, Pixar, Lucasfilm and Two Pic MC, formerly known as ImageMovers.
Disney has agreed to a $100 million settlement in the class-action lawsuit filed in December 2014 claiming that it and other Hollywood studios violated antitrust laws by conspiring to suppress the wages of animation and VFX artists.

According to a report by Variety, the settlement -- which was disclosed in a court filing on Tuesday -- covers Disney, Pixar, Lucasfilm and Two Pic MC, formerly known as ImageMovers. The Disney settlement follows a $50 million settlement with DreamWorks Animation, $13 million with Sony Imageworks and $5.95 million with 20th Century Fox-owned Blue Sky coming out of the same legal action.

The class-action lawsuit alleges that Disney, Pixar, DreamWorks Animation and other studios violated antitrust laws by conspiring to suppress the wages of animation and VFX artists via non-poaching agreements. The complaint filed by lighting artist Georgia Cano, character effects artist Robert Nitsch and production engineer David Wentworth accuses the studios of suppressing wages since 2004 by refraining from cold-calling employees and sharing news of job offers.

The suit contends that the roots of the anti-poaching agreements go back to the mid-1980s, when George Lucas and Ed Catmull, the president of Steve Jobs’ then-newly formed company Pixar, agreed to not raid each other’s employees. Other companies later joined conspiracy, the suit alleges, including Sony ImageMovers, Lucasfilm and Blue Sky Studios.

Arrangements to freeze wages and not poach employees were the subject of a separate investigation and lawsuit by the U.S. Justice Department in 2010. Several companies agreed to a prohibition against enforcing anti-poaching pacts for a period of five years, which ended the DOJ review, but in 2011, a class-action lawsuit was brought against Pixar, Lucasfilm, Apple, Google, Adobe and Intuit. The first two companies settled claims for $9 million while the other companies have gone to an appeals court after Koh rejected a $325 million settlement as insufficient.

The U.S. District Court in San Jose has scheduled a hearing on the Disney settlement for March 9th, 2017.