The strikes make the VFX company take drastic measures.
Image credit: Universal Pictures
The continuing strikes in the movie industry drive some companies to desperate and sometimes questionable decisions. DNEG, the VFX studio behind many hits, including Dune and Oppenheimer, is asking its employees to take up to 25% pay cuts or agree to salary loans soon after a wave of layoffs.
According to Deadline, the firm is offering a heavy choice: the workers will either lose 20% to 25% of their pay, depending on how much they earn – the more money they get, the higher the cut, or will be paid a larger part of their salary first and loaned back the majority of the rest over three years. As stated by Deadline's source, you can take a cut of 50% and be loaned back 40%, "payable with no interest over the longer 36-month period."
This decision should "enable us to maintain the maximum number of jobs through this period," said DNEG in a statement sent to Deadline.
Of course, there is always another option. As employees understood, they have 11 days to choose or their contracts will be terminated.
As you might have imagined, DNEG workers are not happy with the policy, especially those tho faced similar cuts during COVID-19.
"We feel like DNEG is not offering anything to compensate but are instead pushing all the weight and risk on the employee," shared one of Deadline's sources.
A DNEG spokesperson said the company wished to "address the changes directly and honestly":
"DNEG is not immune to the impact of the current industry disruption, and we are not alone. These challenges are impacting all filmmaking departments, and our global clients are facing suspension or postponements of projects that represent meaningful revenue to all companies and professionals working in this industry. As a result, we are continuously and proactively reviewing all areas of our business to ensure that we can continue to deliver the highest quality work while protecting as many of our employees’ positions as possible."
They went on to say DNEG tried to propose "solutions that sustain jobs, keep as much money as possible in [its] employees’ pockets," and this decision is "the best path available" at the moment.
The broadcasting union Bectu doesn't quite agree with it though, saying it is "illegal to impose a paycut without consent."
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