SAG-AFTRA Video Game Voice Actors Vote to Authorize Strike
posted on by Kyle Hallmark
The SAG-AFTRA (Screen Actors Guild - American Federation of Television and Radio Artists) union announced on October 7 that its video game voice acting members voted to grant the organization's national board the authority to call a strike against the video game industry, with 96.5% of voters in favor of the measure.
The vote follows failed attempts in February and June to agree on terms for a new contract after the Interactive Media agreement expired at the end of last year. The decision does not mean that a strike is imminent, but it does give SAG-AFTRA leaders the ability to call for one when they return for future negotiations.
The contract covers voice acting work done for Activision, Disney, Electronic Arts, Warner Bros., and other employers of voice actors in the gaming industry. On its website, the union claimed that the companies' proposals at previous talks were "completely without precedent in the entertainment industry," as well as "reckless and ill-advised."
According to the union, these proposals include fee reductions, fines for voice actors who are not considered to be attentive enough, and the ability for companies to bypass the union by hiring their own employees to do voice work. The companies' demands also include repercussions for agents who fail to send their clients to particular auditions, which would range from heavy fines to revocation of their union franchises.
One of SAG-AFTRA's main demands is for voice actors to receive bonuses when game sales reach 2 million units, with additional bonuses at 4 million, 6 million, and 8 million units. The union also insists on contract language covering audition transparency, stunt coordinators on performance capture, and vocally demanding recording sessions.