“if these corporations aren’t willing to offer a fair deal, our next stop will be the picket lines,” said SAG-AFTRA Chief Negotiator Duncan Crabtree-Ireland
SAG-AFTRA has voted to approve a strike against the video game industry.
On Monday, union members voted 98.32 percent in favor of a strike authorization against 10 major video game companies, with 34,687 members casting ballots, representing 27.47% of eligible voters. The result allows SAG-AFTRA negotiators to call for a strike for a new Interactive Media Agreement if necessary, but does not does not guarantee a work stoppage will take place.
“It’s time for the video game companies to stop playing games and get serious about reaching an agreement on this contract,” said SAG-AFTRA President Fran Drescher in a statement. “The result of this vote shows our membership understands the existential nature of these negotiations, and that the time is now for these companies — which are making billions of dollars and paying their CEOs lavishly — to give our performers an agreement that keeps performing in video games as a viable career.”
Video game companies facing a potential strike include Activision Productions Inc, Blindlight LLC, Disney Character Voices Inc., Electronic Arts Productions Inc., Formosa Interactive LLC, Insomniac Games Inc., Epic Games, Take 2 Productions Inc., VoiceWorks Productions Inc. and WB Games Inc. Negotiations began Oct. 2022 and according to the union, the companies have refused to “acceptable terms” on “wages that keep up with inflation, protections around exploitative uses of artificial intelligence, and basic safety precautions.” The voting period began on Sept 5. and concluded Monday.
“After five rounds of bargaining, it has become abundantly clear that the video game companies aren’t willing to meaningfully engage on the critical issues: compensation undercut by inflation, unregulated use of AI and safety,” said SAG-AFTRA National Executive Director and Chief Negotiator Duncan Crabtree-Ireland. “I remain hopeful that we will be able to reach an agreement that meets members’ needs, but our members are done being exploited, and if these corporations aren’t willing to offer a fair deal, our next stop will be the picket lines.”
The next bargaining session is set for Sept. 26, 27 and 28.