SAG-AFTRA, the world's largest labor union representing performers and broadcasters, is asking its members to vote for the organization's right to call for a strike if necessary. While the union supports all kinds of actors, this strike authorization is aimed at protecting video game performers from issues such as low pay and recreating their likenesses with AI.
President Fran Drescher addresses these issues on Twitter with a video highlighting the cause and calling for action. She emphasizes that this vote is only to approve strike authorization to use against companies as leverage, not to strike immediately. Eligible SAG-AFTRA members can read about the Interactive Media Agreement and vote now from the official website.
"Right now is the time to show our solidarity with video game performers," Drescher says in the video. "It's been nearly a year since SAG-AFTRA began negotiating the interactive media agreement with video game companies. Despite many multi-day bargaining sessions, the companies are refusing to meet our members' needs in vital areas."
Video game voice actors held an 11-month strike between 2016 and 2017, which eventually led to an agreement to improve working conditions. SAG-AFTRA also joined the WGA in striking Hollywood earlier this year, with both of those ongoing. The work stoppage and delays have already cost Warner Bros. $500 million.
Again, SAG-AFTRA has been bargaining for nearly a year to finalize the Interactive Media Agreement. However, it says companies have been dragging their feet on meeting members' key needs. It lists companies participating in negotiations on its website, including Activision Productions, Blindlight, Disney Character Voices, Electronic Arts Productions, Epic Games, Formosa Interactive, Insomniac Games, Take 2 Productions, VoiceWorks Productions, and WB Games.
SAG-AFTRA, also known as the Screen Actors Guild and American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, has bargaining sessions scheduled with video game companies between September 26-28. Members have until 5 PM PT on Monday, September 25 to submit their vote.