SAG-AFTRA Union Calls For A Video Game Strike
The national board of directors for SAG-AFTRA (Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists) has called a strike starting at midnight on October 21 for members performing video game work. This includes voice actors, mo-cap actors, and more. The union is currently in contract negotiations with game publishers, and hopes to address actors' working conditions.
The two sides return to the bargaining table today through October 19, but the union says, "Based on past experience, we are not confident management is willing to make the changes necessary to bring this contract up to the standards of our other agreements."
According to SAG-AFTRA, the sticking-point issues include royalties, stressful vocal sessions, and more transparency about jobs. For their part, the publishers want to fine actors for tardiness or "inattentiveness," fine agents who don't send clients out to all requested auditions, the ability to hire non-union voice actors, and more.
The strike order specifically mentions publisher/developers such as Electronic Arts, Take 2, Activision, and WB Games, among others, but SAG-AFTRA members working on games in production as of February 17 are exempt from the order.
For a rundown of the entire issue, check out this helpful feature.
As has been said before, this is all part of the negotiating dance, so it's hard to predict what may or may not happen. As the feature itself points out in several places, everything is a bargaining chip.