AFTRA Agrees to Pact With Videogame Maker

Voice and motion capture performers get an increase in retirement and health contributions.

Last Updated: November 13, 2009 @ 9:53 AM

The American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA) announced Thursday that its members have ratified a new agreement with videogame makers covering voice  and motion capture work. AFTRA consists of more than 70,000 performers, recording artists and broadcast journalists.

The announcement came two weeks after the Screen Actors Guild rejected a similar deal. The guild has asked game manufacturers to resume negotiations.

The agreement approved by AFTRA includes a 2.5 percent increase in minimum fees paid for voice work and will go into effect beginning next year.

AFTRA members approved the new 15-month contract by 66 percent, a margin of 2-to-1 in favor. Voting took place online or by telephone.

“AFTRA members who work on videogames do so using a highly specialized set of skills and require unique protections from their union agreement,” AFTRA National President Roberta Reardon said in a statement.

“The AFTRA National Board of Directors gave performers nationwide an opportunity to review and consider the new terms and exercise their right to vote. I am pleased that our working members have approved this contract and will have continued access to a share of this multibillion-dollar industry.”

The deal also includes an increase in the amount producers contribute to health and retirement accounts and the establishment of a new performance catagory, "atmospheric voices," which the union hopes will generate work opportunities. The pact also requires a $100 payment when a producer fails to provide advance notice of vocally stressful work.