SAG-AFTRA, formed in 2012, represents professionals in the U.S. entertainment industry and significantly influences working conditions and compensation for performers and media professionals.
The national board of SAG-AFTRA has taken the step of sending a strike authorization vote to its members. This vote is related to the renegotiation of the Interactive Media Agreement.
Why is it important?
If a strike occurs, it would affect prominent industry companies such as Take-Two Interactive, Epic Games, Activision, Electronic Arts, and others. With these developers actively working on multiple game projects, the disruption could lead to project delays, financial challenges, and industry-wide uncertainty.
Although a strike authorization does not initiate a strike, it serves as a valuable bargaining tool. It provides the union with the authority to call for a strike if negotiations deteriorate.
SAG-AFTRA’s initial contract with major video game companies, known as the Interactive Media Agreement, was extended beyond its original expiration date last autumn. This extension was made as SAG-AFTRA engaged in negotiations with the companies to secure crucial terms that its members required.
However, the union expressed disappointment in a recent news release, stating that the companies have yet to adequately address these essential needs during the negotiation process.
The president of the union has released a statement shedding light on the current situation. In her statement, she underscores the persistent challenges faced by the union, notably employer greed and a perceived lack of respect from the involved companies.
Furthermore, she highlights the growing impact of artificial intelligence within the industry, which presents a potential threat to job opportunities for union members. In summary, her comments emphasize the urgency of addressing these critical issues to guarantee equitable treatment and prospects for SAG-AFTRA members.
The union is currently advocating for a substantial pay adjustment on behalf of its video game performers. They are requesting an 11% retroactive wage increase along with a 4% raise in the contract’s second and third years. This proposed wage hike is aimed at helping members keep up with the rising cost of living caused by inflation.