About Us: Art Babbitt
In 1940, due to the box-office failures of Pinnochio and Fantasia, Disney was forced to make lay-offs. By this time the pay structure at the Disney studio was very disorganized with wages ranging from $300 at the highest to $12 a week at the lowest. Many of the employees were unhappy and joined the Screen Cartoonists Guild, including Art Babbitt, one of Disney's highest paid animators, who was sympathetic to the union cause and openly disliked Walt. Tensions between Disney and Babbitt reached a peak when Babbitt became one of the union leaders. Disney later sent a letter of termination to Babbitt citing his cause - union activities. This was the final straw. The next day on May 29, 1941, more than 200 members of the studio staff walked out on strike.
Despite being one of the highest paid animators at Disney, Babbitt stood up for the lower-ranking employees, and the union. He was one of relatively few well-paid artists to join the strike, and he became one of its main leaders.