The Screen Actors Guild‐American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) union in the United States is considering authorizing a second strike against major video game companies due to stalled negotiations with firms like Activision and Electronic Arts. The main points of contention in these negotiations revolve around wage increases and concerns related to artificial intelligence (AI). (Hollywood Actors Union strike).
Here’s a breakdown of the situation:
1. Stalled Negotiations: Talks between SAG-AFTRA and the video game companies have reached a “stalemate.” Both sides have been unable to reach an agreement, particularly regarding wage increases and AI-related issues.
2. Strike Background: Prior to this, Hollywood actors have been on strike since July 13 against major TV and film companies, which has caused disruptions in the entertainment industry.
2. Union’s Demands: SAG-AFTRA has been pushing for an 11% increase in rates paid to video game performers. They are also seeking protections against AI, which they believe threatens the future of artists’ work and careers, as well as better working conditions.
3. Union’s Concerns about AI: The union’s president, American actress Fran Drescher, expressed concerns about AI putting members’ job opportunities at risk and framed the union’s stance as standing up against such threats.
(Hollywood Actors Union strike).
4. Voting on Second Strike: A vote on whether to authorize a second strike will take place between September 5 and September 25, allowing union members to decide on the next steps.
5. Extension of Contract: The union had a separate contract with major video game companies, set to expire in November. However, it was extended by a year to continue negotiations.
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6. Game Companies’ Response: A spokesperson for the video game firms involved in the negotiations stated that both sides are seeking a “fair contract” that reflects the work performed by actors, and they are negotiating in good faith.
7. Potential Job Action: If the strike vote is successful, the union could initiate job actions if negotiations do not progress satisfactorily after they resume on September 26.
8. Similarities with Film and TV Strike: The issues raised against video game companies are similar to those that led to the ongoing strike against film and TV companies by SAG-AFTRA. This film and TV strike has already caused disruptions in the industry.
9. Previous Video Game Strike: SAG-AFTRA previously went on strike against video game companies in 2016, which lasted for 11 months.
The outcome of the upcoming vote and subsequent negotiations will determine whether there will be a second strike in the video game industry, which could potentially impact the development and production of video games and the broader entertainment industry.