After officially announcing the formation of Comic Book Workers United at the end of last year—The first specific union to support comic book publishing workers — Image Comics workers voted to officially certify their union in a secret ballot.
The results of the vote—7-2 in favor of the organization– were announced today in a process that officially certifies the CBWU, which was formed with the help of the Communications Workers of America. The affirmative vote gives the CBWU the right to Image Comics recognition, which would allow the union to establish a bargaining committee and start negotiating a contract for its members. The publisher, which was founded on the principles of creators working for Image retaining the rights to any work they created, has failed to recognize voluntarily union and have started negotiations since workers at the company announced the formation of the CBWU in early November 2021, choosing instead to participate in the secret ballot process with the National Labor Relations Board.
“CBWU workers were hoping for voluntary recognition of Image Comics instead of a redundant vote,” the CBWU said yesterday ahead of the vote results. via their website reads in part. “However, we remain #drawninsolidarity and are confident that we will maintain the qualified majority we started with in November 2021.”
With this qualified majority now maintained, the comic book industry now officially has its first union of workers employed by comic book publishers. In an industry that has been historically resistant to unionization, even as other creative and adjacent fields surround it have come to embrace unions, the CWBU is currently a rarity. Creative talent in comics now do not meet the broadcast or print requirements to unionize with either branch of the Writer’s Guild of America, and America’s sci-fi and fantasy writers voted only for admit authors of comics and graphic novelists in May 2020. The process of creating requirements for these specific creatives in the field to join the union was still ongoing at the time, the workers of the CWBU – which does not cover creative talent, but rather directs full-time and regular part-time employees to the image, such as production artists, sales cocoordinators, members of the marketing team, accountants, etc., announced their training.
We have contacted Image Comics for a statement on the outcome of the vote, and will update this post if and when we have a response.
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