Question of the Day – Why aren’t rep cards online?

We asked Steve Kaplan :

Is it acceptable to digitally sign the rep card pdf and email it to you?
Or do they need to be printed and snail mailed?

Here is what he responded:

According to NLRB regulations, we have to have physical and signed copies of the cards to present if we are to use them as proof of interest among the group.

It’s something we’ve been petitioning them to change.



Steve Kaplan
Labor Organizer
The Animation Guild, Local 839 IATSE
(818) 845-7500

AIM: Kapanmtr
Google IM: kaplanvfx
ICQ: 83945576
Skype: steve.kaplan.tag839



14 Responses to Question of the Day – Why aren’t rep cards online?

  1. HJ says:

    I was wondering if you could give a ‘state of the union’ round up ? What unions there are, where they’re at, is there a way for them to work together ? I know there were/are some union shops, but some like ILM, seem to be more in place to help managment than the artists. There seems to be a bit of confusion when I talk to colleagues.

    • skaplan839 says:

      Indeed, that confusion is well founded. President Loeb’s letter stated clearly the intentions of the IA to facilitate the organization of visual effects. The hiring of Jim Goodman carried certain assumptions that were not well founded.

      I can say that the IATSE hasn’t given up in its pursuit to facilitate the organization of vfx artists into the union. The effort has had to undergo changes and those will be announced shortly.

      However, as VFX Soldier always states, “Dont trust, Verify”. If you want to hear from the IATSE, write them directly at

  2. Andreas Jablonka says:

    while I wont speak for Steve its pretty clear that IATSE is the union we should fall under. TAG (The animation guild) is only a local of IATSE and geared towards feature animation but nevertheless the name is the last thing we need to worry about. While they are other (on set) unions IATSE is the main one.

    • 839spi says:

      There was a big announcement from IATSE last year. They were going to form a brand new branch just for vfx artists. There were some meetings, lots of talk, and then……. nothing happened.

      • andreas jablonka says:

        Agreed. I met with Steve and jimmy goodman a few times. Their mills grind extremely slowly.

      • skaplan839 says:

        Its quite a bit more than that .. but your explination is as good as any. Suffice to say, the IA understands it needs to act and show inititative “in good faith”.

        I’m working on it ..

  3. SPI ABQ says:

    The rep card page says fax is ok so the Anim Guild should setup an email to fax account for us and publish the account info.
    We are a lazy bunch. With this we could sign with the wacom then email the pdf to a fax number without printing.

    • 839spi says:

      Great idea. Steve, is this doable?

    • skaplan839 says:

      While I really want to chastise you for not having the gumption to print, sign, stamp and send (seriously, it took me longer to type all this), my inner geek just has to explore this option.

      I’ll let you know asap ..

      • skaplan839 says:

        Alright .. I have an account with eXtremeFax. That account has a toll-free number. Explain to me how:

        * you’re going to take a pdf I’ve provided of the card
        * fill out the appropriate info
        * find a way to sign it
        * then get it to me using this service

        Let’s not do this through comments .. email me and help me work this out

      • skaplan839 says:

        After more thought on this, why are we using a fax service at all? I offered the fax option for those who are going to fill out, print and sign the card to return to me as an option against finding a stamp and envelope.

        If you can create another PDF of the rep card, after filling it out and signing it in PS, why are you faxing it as opposed to emailing it?

        I’ll call the NLRB and see if this works.

  4. Andreas Jablonka says:


  5. skaplan839 says:

    Thanks to all who helped me with this today. I’ve gotten word back from the NLRB, and that word is “No”.

    Specifically, the board has not yet accepted the use of electronic signatures on representation cards. According to the Information Officer I spoke with, even the fax copies of the card that I’ve asked for will have to be backed up with original signatures at one point.

    There is certainly a precedent set for the use of esignatures, as some of you were kind enough to point out to me.There are laws in the US and Europe that cover the accepted use of esignatures in business, commercial or governmental activities. The ruling here in the US is called the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act.

    We will have to approach the NLRB and attempt to get them to incorporate esignatures into the Act to allow for the uses suggested here. It won’t be an easy or short process, but its one that we need to do.

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