Video Game Voice Over Strike Continues…
The year almost coming to an end and the December 1st offer expiration set by the video game companies have come and gone, there is no light at the end of this dark tunnel.
In a statement by the union says, “SAG-AFTRA tried for more than 19 months to negotiate a new deal with employers in the video game industry… Meanwhile, performers have been governed by the more than two-decade old contract still in place. That has left voice actors without the protections necessary to work in the modern video game industry.”
This is refuted by representatives of video game companies. In a letter to Richard Trumka, President of the AFL-CIO by the counsel of the video game companies, it stated, “My clients have not refused to bargain or offer even better terms and conditions. Our Final and Enhanced Comprehensive Package Proposal offers an immediate 9% wage increase and Additional Compensation that totals up to $950 for Principal Performers who work eight sessions on a game… In addition, we are offering improved pension and health benefits and improved cooperation on safety issues.”
These companies stand by their offer and had it been presented to the members of the union, the strike would have been prevented.
“Our offer of a 9% wage increase accelerates the entire payment into the first year – an improvement over the three-year, 3% per year increase that the Union was seeking. It also includes for the first time Additional Compensation for Principal Performers (who work on more than one session on a game).
This structure for Additional Compensation is so close to what SAG-AFTRA is demanding monetarily that we believe most performers would conclude the differences are not worth striking over.”
Since SAG-AFTRA’s strike order, the union has staged pickets both online and on three video game producers’ offices – Electronics Arts, Warner Bros. and Insomniac Games.
No new schedule of pickets for the coming year has been set.
SAG-AFTRA though got their first tangible victory after winning over the domain name battle against the 11 video game companies.
Last 28th of October, the 11 video game companies struck by the voice over union launched a website – sagaftravideogamers.com, to air out their side on the voice actors’ strike. However, immediately after it was launched SAG-AFTRA demanded that the site be taken down as it infringes the union’s trademark, and to “desist in its promotion of a deceptive website that masquerades as a SAG-AFTRA communications platform.”
After several correspondence, the video game developers and producers have agreed to take down the site and set up a new one, videogamestrikenews.com.
The video game strike affects following companies for all games that went into production after February 17, 2015:
- Electronic Arts Productions
- WB Games
- Disney Character Voices
- Activision Publishing
- Corps of Discovery Films
- Formosa Interactive
- Insomniac Games
- Interactive Associates
- Take 2 Interactive Software
- VoiceWorks Productions.
With the current silence of both parties, we see no hope in having this resolved before the end of the year.