After almost two years of negotiations, the Screen Actors Guild - American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) declared a strike against giant video game companies. The strike was declared in a statement released Friday by the labor union for video game actors.
There were over 250 people who showed up at EA's Playa Vista, CA office last Oct. 24 to demonstrate in support of SAG-AFTRA which targeted EA and ten other video game companies. It's the first ever public action to support the voice actors' union strike.
SAG-AFTRA president, Gabrielle Carteris, told Deadline, "This is a strike unlike any we've done before. We have different actions planned as we roll it out." SAG-AFTRA represents more than 160,000 actors and media professionals.
Aside from EA, the other video game companies targeted by the strike include Take Two, Warner Bros. Games, Insomniac, and Activision. The voice actors' union claims that they have yet to get a "fair proposal" from these companies which will ultimately end the strike. The point of interest for the strike is a guaranteed greater employer transparency and "reasonable performance bonus" when the game will surpass a certain sales milestone.
In a Monday statement from lawyers of the video game companies, they said that they have already matched SAG-AFTRA requests on compensation and wages.
Scott J. Witlin of Barnes & Thornburg, chief negotiator for the video game companies said in a statement, "The Union negotiating committee's continued public positioning of workplace safety as a rationale for striking these pro-Union Companies is disingenuous and paternalistic."
Lawyers of the video game companies also mentioned that they have reached an agreement with SAG-AFTRA regarding issues with vocal stress on voice actors.
In response, SAG-AFTRA said in a separate statement that the video game companies remained "intractable" while in the bargaining process.
The video game companies' lawyers said that they had presented a final offer last week which was nearly identical to what SAG-AFTRA proposed, still, the union disputed.
"These employers know full well that our issue is the creation of secondary payments that allow our members to share in the success of the most successful games. The employers' offer purposely does not do that," SAG-ATRA committee said in a statement.