The SAG-AFTRA actors’ union, which is already on strike against Hollywood film and TV studios, will resume contract negotiations Tuesday with video game production companies, with union members overwhelmingly authorizing a strike if talks break down.
According to an announcement by the union Monday night, 98.32% of eligible union members who cast ballots voted to authorize a strike if necessary. Nearly 34,700 union members cast ballots, representing about 27.5% of the union’s eligible members.
“The result of this vote shows our membership understands the existential nature of these negotiations, and that the time is now for these companies — which are making billions of dollars and paying their CEOs lavishly — to give our performers an agreement that keeps performing in video games as a viable career,” SAG-AFTRA President Fran Drescher said in a statement.
Contract talks are scheduled Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday with the affected video game companies — Activision Productions, Blindlight, Disney Character Voices, Electronic Arts Productions, Epic Games, Formosa Interactive, Insomniac Games, Take 2 Productions, VoiceWorks Productions and WB Games.
The video game agreement is separate from the contract covering film and TV actors, who are on strike amid stalled talks with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers. The union noted that many key issues are the same, most notably compensation and protections against the use of artificial intelligence.
According to the union, SAG-AFTRA is seeking an 11% retroactive wage increase for video game workers and 4% increases in the second and third years of the contract, along with mandatory rest breaks, on-set medics during stunts or hazardous work and “vocal stress protections.”