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Drawn & Quarterly workers vote to unionize

The Canadian indie publisher has become the third North American comic company to go union

Drawn & Quarterly
Image credit: Drawn & Quarterly

And now there are three. Following unionization efforts by staff at U.S. publishers Image Comics and Seven Seas Entertainment, it’s been announced that workers at Canadian indie publisher Drawn & Quarterly, responsible for titles including Kate Beaton’s Ducks, Jillian & Mariko Tamaki’s Roaming, and Nick Drnaso’s Sabrina, have also formed a union.

Workers unionized under under the Fédération du commerce of the Confédération des syndicats nationaux (CSN), one of the largest trade union federations in Quebec earlier this fall, with the union certified by the Administrative Labor Tribunal of Quebec. In a release from the CSN announcing the formation of the union, an anonymous D&Q staffer was quoted as saying, “While there are lots of opportunities to take on more responsibilities and learn more skills in the publishing office, there are rarely paths to promotion for assistants. It's hard to see or commit to a future if there are not transparent conversations about what all our learning and acquired skills might lead to. This is a concern for us in the office as well as for our colleagues in the stores. We need to be able to see futures for ourselves at D&Q, and to do that, we need salaries that sustain us and benefits that support us to continue to show up for our coworkers and authors.”

Popverse wrote about the history of unionizing efforts in the comic book industry earlier this year. At the same time, we spoke to unions at both Seven Seas Entertainment and Image Comics about the progress made in their respective unionizing efforts.

This has, of course, been a particularly good years for union efforts, thanks to the high profile strikes by the Writers Guild of America and the Screen Actors Guild, both of which were ultimately successful in achieving the working environments they were looking for. Outside of the entertainment industry, United Auto Workers have reached new agreements with both Ford and General Motors in the past two months, with Cornell University’s Labor Tracker noting that 69 strikes were happening in the US alone in September. (The October numbers aren’t available at time of writing.)

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