The Wrap

SAG-AFTRA in Talks With Video Game Companies Ahead of Strike Date

As this Friday’s strike date nears, SAG-AFTRA resumed negotiations on Monday with top video gaming companies for fair labor practices.

The negotiations are currently scheduled to happen through Wednesday.

Also Read: SAG-AFTRA Sets Strike Date Against Video Game Companies

TheWrap has learned the top priorities for the actors union are:

-That video game actors get paid residuals for their work.
-Limit sessions for vocal work to two hours in order to avoid vocal chord injuries.
-Improved transparency, so actors know whether they’re playing a lead character or a supporting role, and also whether they’ll have to relay sexually explicit or offensive language and/or storylines.
-Assurances that stunt coordinators will be present when capturing stunts or other dangerous work.

SAG-AFTRA declared its strike plan following a unanimous vote over the weekend among the labor union’s board of directors.

The strike will happen on Friday (Oct. 21) at 12:01 a.m. PST if SAG-AFTRA’s terms aren’t met this week with video game publishers: Activision; Blindlight; Corps of Discovery Films; Disney Character Voices, Inc.; Electronic Arts; Formosa Interactive; Insomniac Games; Interactive Associates; Take 2 Interactive; VoiceWorks Productions; and WB Games.

SAG-AFTRA contends that progress in negotiations has stalled for more than a year.

Also Read: SAG-AFTRA Extends David White’s Contract to 2020

“Unless a deal is struck during bargaining sessions scheduled for the first part of this week, all games that went into production after Feb. 17, 2015 for the aforementioned employers will be struck,” a SAG-AFTRA announcement read.

“Through many months of bargaining with interactive employers, we have not reached a fair agreement covering SAG-AFTRA performers working in video games — often the most popular games in the world,” said SAG-AFTRA President Gabrielle Carteris in a statement. “Our members have been clear, now is the time for employers to negotiate a modern contract that covers this highly profitable industry.”

Also Read: How to Join SAG-AFTRA

“A strike is not to be entered into lightly, but when the employers leave us with no recourse, we must stand firm for our members. It is imperative that we secure for them the protections, compensation and benefits they deserve,” Carteris added.

“We have received a clear and unambiguous message from the community who work this agreement that the situation they face has become intolerable,” said National Executive Director David White. “We are always prepared to reach a fair deal with employers, but they must play their part. It is a serious decision to conclude that a job action of this magnitude is necessary and we hope that we can reach a fair deal before the deadline set by the board. But make no mistake: if we are unable to find a way to address the minimum needs of our members, we will go on strike as planned.”

“We need a contract that fits the needs of our members working in video games,” said Chief Contracts Officer Ray Rodriguez. “So far employers have been unwilling to meet us even close to where the needs of our members are.”

Related stories from TheWrap:

SAG-AFTRA Board Approves New Deal for Commercials

Gabrielle Carteris Named SAG-AFTRA President, Rebecca Damon Executive Vice President

SAG-AFTRA and TV, Radio Commercials Producers Reach Tentative Deal

Read More