Cinesite Studios Group has bought Vancouver’s Nitrogen Studios, but the acquisition won’t affect Unifor’s complaint over unpaid overtime allegations from animators who worked on Sausage Party.

“We filed a third-party complaint with B.C.’s Employment Standards Branch last summer, and the investigation is still very active,” said Jennifer Moreau, Vice-President with Unifor Local 2000. “I spoke with the investigator today about the acquisition and was assured it won’t affect the complaint process.”

Cinesite Studios, a U.K. based company, announced the acquisition today online. According to Cinesite, Nitrogen currently employs 70 people. Nitrogen is a full-service animation studio best known for work on the children’s show Thomas and Friends. In July 2015, Cinesite announced a merger with Image Engine, a studio started in Vancouver in 1995.

Unifor Local 2000 filed the complaint against Nitrogen after news broke of animators alleging mistreatment and unpaid overtime while working on Seth Rogen’s Sausage Party film.

“We want to see these local studios survive and thrive in this highly competitive industry, but if they mistreat their employees, we will call them out,” Moreau added.

Click here for a freedom of information documents and a summary of past complaints filed against animation, gaming and visual effects studios.

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