SAG-AFTRA President Fran Drescher Urges Members To Approve Strike Authorization Against Video Game Companies

SAG-AFTRA President Fran Drescher, saying that “right now is the time to show our solidarity,” is urging her members to authorize a strike against the video game industry. The guild, which has been on strike against the film and TV industries since July 14, could go on strike against the gaming companies any time after September 25, when voting on the strike authorization ends. The guild’s first and only strike against the gaming companies lasted 183 days in 2016-17.

In a new video, Drescher notes that voting for a strike authorization doesn’t necessarily mean that there will be a strike. But rather, it authorizes the board to “to call a strike if needed.”

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“It’s been nearly a year since SAG-AFTRA began negotiating the Interactive Media Agreement with video game companies, “she says in the video. “Despite many multi-day bargaining sessions, the companies are refusing to meet our members’ needs in vital areas.”

Watch the video here:

Two of the main sticking points in the ongoing film and TV strike – wages and artificial intelligence – are also common to the threatened strike against the gaming companies. To keep up with inflation, SAG-AFTRA is seeking the same pay raises for both contracts – 11% in the first year and 4% in the second and third years. And it says that the “unregulated use of AI poses an equal or even greater threat to performers in the video game industry than it does in film and television.”

The video game companies say they want “a fair contract that reflects the important contributions of SAG-AFTRA-represented performers in an industry that delivers world-class entertainment to billions of players around the world. We are negotiating in good faith, and hope to reach a mutually beneficial deal as soon as possible.”

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