SAG-AFTRA to Set More Talks With Video Game Companies to Avert Strike

SAG-AFTRA announced Monday that it will schedule more bargaining sessions on a new video game contract, in hopes of averting a second strike.

The talks broke off last month without an agreement, but both sides indicated at the time that they would continue to negotiate.

SAG-AFTRA members remain on strike against the major film and TV companies. No talks are currently scheduled in that strike.

Last month, the membership voted overwhelmingly to authorize a separate strike against 10 major video game companies, including Electronic Arts and Activision Productions, if talks do not result in a deal.

The union’s Interactive Media Agreement was originally set to expire on Nov. 7, 2022, but was extended by a year to allow further negotiations.

The actors union is pursuing a similar agenda across both the video game and TV and theatrical contracts, with emphasis on protecting members from artificial intelligence and securing an 11% raise to account for inflation.

The talks with the video game companies began in October 2022. There have been six rounds of bargaining, including three days from Sept. 26 to Sept. 28.

“It’s time for the video game companies to stop playing games and get serious about reaching an agreement on this contract,” SAG-AFTRA President Fran Drescher said in a statement last month, adding 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.”

Audrey Cooling, a spokeswoman for the video game employers, said last month that the two sides have reached a tentative agreement on over half of the issues on the table.

In a statement on Monday, the union said “negotiations would continue with new dates to be released as soon as they are determined.”

The agreement remains in effect for the time being.

The union last went on strike against the video game companies in 2016. The walkout lasted 11 months.

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