Unifor Local 2000 is pleased to announce an Employment Standards investigation is underway, following a third-party complaint filed over allegations of unpaid overtime for Nitrogen employees working on Seth Rogen’s Sausage Party film.

The complaint was filed on Aug. 19, and on Friday, Sept. 30, we received an email stating that an industrial relations officer with the Victoria Employment Standards Branch is investigating. The officer has requested Nitrogen supply employee records as part of the investigation.

“We’re thrilled the Employment Standards Branch is taking this seriously and they’ve assigned an officer to investigate,” said Jennifer Moreau, vice-president of Unifor Local 2000. “What we need now is more of the animators to step forward to help with the investigation.”

Since Unifor Local 2000 filed the complaint, employees working for other companies have contacted the union to share their stories.

“One thing that’s clear is the Nitrogen allegations are not an isolated case. We’ve had people say the same unpaid overtime practices are happening with their employers, in animation, video game development and visual effects,” Moreau said. “It seems as if the practice of using unpaid overtime is now an integral part of the business model for these industries, and that’s just unacceptable.”

Unifor Local 2000 has started regular monthly meetings to discuss working conditions and unionization for people in VFX, gaming and animation. The meetings are on the last Sunday of the month, at 6:30 p.m. in the Anza Club, at 3 West Eighth Ave. in Vancouver.

The B.C. Employment Standards Coalition (of which Unifor is a member) is also hosting a series of free, drop-in sessions to hear workers’ complaints and to offer advice on their rights under the Employment Standards Act. Click here for details.

Unifor is the largest private sector union in Canada, with more than 310,000 members across the country. Unifor Local 2000 represents more than 800 workers, primarily in B.C.’s newspaper industry.

Contact: Jennifer Moreau, Unifor Local 2000, vice-president, 604-816-5204.