After an 8-Month SAG-AFTRA Strike, Both Sides are Now Open to Negotiations
For some in the voice acting community, the last 8-months have been frustrating. The Screen Actors Guild has been on strike against major gaming companies for better conditions and fairer pay since this past fall. Armed with picket lines and a performance matters hashtag, some of our most beloved voices have been fighting in the SAG-AFTRA strike for a better deal from the gaming industry.
Both sides said they were open to talks Friday, however, neither group has fully committed to returning to negotiations just yet. In a press release, the game companies being struck welcomed those involved in the protest to return and settle a deal. A representative of the guild had this to say:
We’ve received the game companies’ press release extending a welcome back to the bargaining table. We would welcome an honest overture from management indicating they are prepared to move on our issues. Their negotiator knows where to reach us.”
It is likely that the collapse of diplomacy this past October may be taking a toll on the companies though that remains to be seen. In fact, the SAG-AFTRA strike has kept important names out of the recording booth and put some titles on hold. Needless to say, it didn’t take long for the companies to respond:
The Interactive Video Games Companies are always open to discussion. We hope SAG-AFTRA union leaders will engage in thoughtful and meaningful discussions that will benefit all parties.”
The companies in question include 11 industry leaders: VoiceWorks Productions, Take 2 Interactive Software, Warner Bros., EA, Insomniac Games, Activision Publishing, Disney Character Voices, Inc., Corps of Discovery Films, Formosa Interactive, LLC, and Interactive Associates. These companies came together to oppose the strike, beseeching actors to consider that their union leader was guiding them astray. Eight months later it would seem those words fell on deaf ears.
For the strikers, their demands seem pretty simple. Firstly that they received a safer work environment that ensured the health of the actor and their voice. This meant cutting back on time spent in the booth to rest the vocal cords and better training for VA’s that have to do stunts and physical acting. Secondary compensation, transparency, and better pay were also issues the union wanted to be addressed.
The game companies were resistant to these demands, stating that they were unrealistic and unfounded. With recent reports that the protesters were making headway with industry leaders, the companies chose to make their statement on Friday. Here is what they had to say about those reports:
None of the Interactive Video Game Companies that have bargained together have signed a contract with SAG-AFTRA. Any report or statement that suggests otherwise is either mistaken or direct misinformation.”
In response, SAG-AFTRA reported that they had indeed signed 33 companies to negotiated video game agreements independently since the demonstration began. Included in their agreements were 45 games that were also signed in negotiations. The back and forth between groups seems to remain and it can be hard for some to tell what might really be going on.While tensions still clearly exist, this may be the first opening since its inception. Whether either side is willing to budge remains to be seen, but this could mean that the strike is winding down now.
Could the game companies mentioned be ready to meet the SAG-AFTRA strike demands? Join in on the conversation in the comment section below! Don’t forget to follow DFTG on Twitter for live gaming and entertainment news 24/7!
Charles Douglas734 Posts
Deep in the mountains of the south west lives a man who writes game editorials, makes YouTube Videos, and is an overall mega nerd. An avid believer in Unicorns, and your new all star line backer, Number 34, CHARLES DOUGLAAAAAAASSSS!!!!