SAG-AFTRA Members Overwhelmingly Vote in Favor of Potential Strike Against Video Game Industry
In a groundbreaking move, members of the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) have voted to authorize a potential strike against the video game industry. The vote, which received overwhelming support from the union’s members, with 98.32% in favor of the strike authorization, now permits union negotiators to call for a strike if necessary for a new Interactive Media Agreement.
The decision to potentially strike highlights several critical issues that SAG-AFTRA members are facing in the video game industry. Some of these concerns include compensation that is continuously undercut by inflation, the unregulated use of artificial intelligence (AI) in games, and safety concerns for performers.
Duncan Crabtree-Ireland, the national executive director of SAG-AFTRA, expressed hope for a fair agreement but emphasized that the union’s members are “done being exploited.” The voting period lasted from September 5th to Monday, setting the stage for the next negotiation session starting Tuesday.
Negotiations for a new contract between SAG-AFTRA and major video game companies have been ongoing since October 2022. Ten prominent companies, including Electronic Arts Productions Inc. and WB Games Inc., could potentially experience the effects of a strike if an agreement is not reached.
Ray Rodriguez, Chief Contracts Officer for SAG-AFTRA, emphasized the need for fair compensation, safety measures, and dignity for video game performers. These issues have become significant factors as video games continue to garner massive popularity and generate billions of dollars in revenue.
In response to the strike vote, the video game companies involved expressed a commitment to negotiate in good faith and find a resolution. While the industry acknowledges the concerns raised by SAG-AFTRA, they also understand the need for fair treatment and recognition of the contributions made by video game performers.
As the negotiations continue, the potential strike looms over the video game industry, raising both concerns and hopes for a fair and satisfactory agreement. With SAG-AFTRA members showing overwhelming support for strike authorization, the industry will now have to address the pressing issues that performers face. Ultimately, the outcome of these negotiations will have a significant impact on the future of the video game industry and the rights of its performers.
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