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SAG-AFTRA Support Strike Authorization In Video Game Industry

Members of the SAG-AFTRA have voted overwhelmingly in favor of a strike authorization, with an astonishing 98.32% voting in support. This pivotal decision comes in the midst of ongoing negotiations over the Interactive Media Agreement, a pivotal document governing the work of SAG-AFTRA members in the video game industry.

The vote, which concluded with 34,687 members casting their ballots, represents a substantial 27.47% of eligible voters within the union. It signifies a significant mandate from the membership for action to address several issues.

It is important to note that this strike authorization does not automatically trigger a strike. Instead, it serves as a bargaining tool for SAG-AFTRA as they engage in negotiations with signatory video game companies. These negotiations, which commenced in October 2022, involve prominent industry players such as Activision Productions Inc, Blindlight LLC, Disney Character Voices Inc., Electronic Arts Productions Inc., Formosa Interactive LLC, Insomniac Games Inc., Epic Games, Take 2 Productions Inc., VoiceWorks Productions Inc., and WB Games Inc.

The key sticking points in these negotiations have revolved around issues that are of importance to SAG-AFTRA members. These include equitable compensation that keeps pace with inflation, safeguards against the exploitative use of artificial intelligence, and the implementation of fundamental safety measures.

The next round of bargaining sessions is slated for September 26, 27, and 28. The recent success of the strike authorization vote is expected to provide added leverage for SAG-AFTRA in pushing for substantial movement.

Fran Drescher, the President of SAG-AFTRA, voiced the urgency of the situation, stating, “It’s time for the video game companies to stop playing games and get serious about reaching an agreement on this contract. 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.”

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Duncan Crabtree-Ireland, SAG-AFTRA’s National Executive Director and Chief Negotiator, echoed these sentiments, saying, “After five rounds of bargaining, it has become abundantly clear that the video game companies aren’t willing to meaningfully engage on the critical issues: compensation undercut by inflation, unregulated use of AI, and safety. I remain hopeful that we will be able to reach an agreement that meets members’ needs, but our members are done being exploited, and if these corporations aren’t willing to offer a fair deal, our next stop will be the picket lines.”

Ray Rodriguez, Chief Contracts Officer, drew parallels between the challenges faced by video game workers and those in the film and television industries. “Between the exploitative uses of AI and lagging wages, those who work in video games are facing many of the same issues as those who work in film and television,” Rodriguez stated. “This strike authorization makes an emphatic statement that we must reach an agreement that will fairly compensate these talented performers, provide common-sense safety measures, and allow them to work with dignity. Our members’ livelihoods depend on it.”

For more information on this development and ongoing negotiations, you can visit

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