SAG-AFTRA Sets Strike Date Against Video Game Companies

Negotiations have been stalled for more than a year, actors labor union contends

The Screen Actor’s Guild (SAG-AFTRA) is gearing up to strike against video game giants this Friday following a unanimous vote over the weekend among the labor union’s board of directors.

The strike will happen on Friday (Oct. 21) at 12:01 a.m. if SAG-AFTRA’s terms aren’t met during negotiations taking place this week with video game publishers: Activision; Blindlight; Corps of Discovery Films; Disney Character Voices, Inc.; Electronic Arts; Formosa Interactive; Insomniac Games; Interactive Associates; Take 2 Interactive; VoiceWorks Productions; and WB Games.

SAG-AFTRA contends that progress in negotiations has stalled for more than a year.

“Unless a deal is struck during bargaining sessions scheduled for the first part of this week, all games that went into production after February 17, 2015 for the aforementioned employers will be struck,” a SAG-AFTRA announcement read.

“Through many months of bargaining with interactive employers, we have not reached a fair agreement covering SAG-AFTRA performers working in video games — often the most popular games in the world,” said SAG-AFTRA President Gabrielle Carteris in a statement. “Our members have been clear, now is the time for employers to negotiate a modern contract that covers this highly profitable industry.”

“A strike is not to be entered into lightly, but when the employers leave us with no recourse, we must stand firm for our members. It is imperative that we secure for them the protections, compensation and benefits they deserve,” Carteris added.

“We have received a clear and unambiguous message from the community who work this agreement that the situation they face has become intolerable,” said National Executive Director David White. “We are always prepared to reach a fair deal with employers, but they must play their part. It is a serious decision to conclude that a job action of this magnitude is necessary and we hope that we can reach a fair deal before the deadline set by the board. But make no mistake: if we are unable to find a way to address the minimum needs of our members, we will go on strike as planned.”

“We need a contract that fits the needs of our members working in video games,” said Chief Contracts Officer Ray Rodriguez. “So far employers have been unwilling to meet us even close to where the needs of our members are.”