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Sag-AFTRA votes unanimously to expand its strike to include the games industry

“Here we go again! Now our video game agreement is at a stalemate too.”


SAG-AFTRA Interactive Media (video game)Strike Authorisation 2023
Image credit: SAG-AFTRA

The media artists union SAG-AFTRA has voted to expand its ongoing Hollywood strike to encompass the games industry.

In a statement posted to its official website, the union confirmed its board had “voted unanimously” to “send a strike authorisation vote to SAG-AFTRA members” in interactive media ahead of its “forthcoming bargaining dates with video game companies”.

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Key issues up for negotiation include pay and conditions, but also “protections against unrestrained use of artificial intelligence”, specifically the impact upon performance capture artists.

The companies involved in the negotiations include Activision, Disney, EA, Epic Games, Insomniac, Take 2, and Warner Bros.

“It has been nearly a year since SAG-AFTRA’s video game contract, the Interactive Media Agreement, was extended beyond the original expiration date as we negotiated with the companies for critical terms SAG-AFTRA members need,” the statement explains.

“Unfortunately, throughout the negotiations, the companies have failed to address those needs. For this reason, the negotiating committee and National Board unanimously agreed that the union should have a member-approved strike authorisation in hand when bargaining resumes on 26th September.”

“Although key issues like wages that keep up with inflation and protections against unrestrained use of artificial intelligence are common sticking points in negotiations, the Interactive Media (Video Game) Agreement is a separate contract from the TV, theatrical and streaming contracts against which SAG-AFTRA members are currently striking.”

“Here we go again! Now our video game agreement is at a stalemate too,” said SAG-AFTRA president, Fran Drescher. “Once again, we are facing employer greed and disrespect. Once again, artificial intelligence is putting our members in jeopardy of reducing their opportunity to work. And once again, SAG-AFTRA is standing up to tyranny on behalf of its members.

“The overlap of these two SAG-AFTRA contracts is no coincidence, but rather a predictable issue impacting our industry as well as others all over the world. The disease of greed is spreading like wildfire, ready to burn workers out of their livelihoods and humans out of their usefulness. We at SAG-AFTRA say NO! Not on our watch!”

SAG-AFTRA represents approximately 160,000 actors, announcers, broadcast journalists, dancers, DJs, news writers, news editors, program hosts, puppeteers, recording artists, singers, stunt performers, voiceover artists, and other media professionals across the US.

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