98.32 percent of video game voice actors and motion capture performers voted to authorize a strike on Monday should new labor contract negotiations fail, setting the stage for another possible work stoppage in Hollywood.
SAG-AFTRA is the same union currently representing the film and television actors who went on strike in July, which puts Hollywood in the midst of two simultaneous work stoppages for the first time in 63 years.
SAG-AFTRA authorizes video game strike
The union is set to begin contract talks with gaming companies on Tuesday.
The SAG-AFTRA agreement that covered video game performers expired in November of last year and has been extended on a monthly basis as negotiations occur. These negotiations will occur with large companies, including Activision, Blizzard, Electronic Arts, Epic Games, Formosa Interactive, and others.
The crucial issues for the union for SAG-AFTRA are higher pay, medical treatment, breaks for motion capture performers, and protection against artificial intelligence.
“This is at an inflection point for our industry. In particular with AI, because right now there aren’t any protection,” Ashly Burch, a voice actor in Horizon Zero Dawn, told Reuters. “So, there’s every possibility that someone could sign a contract and be signing away the right to their voice or their movement.”
SAG-AFTRA is seeking wage increases for video game performers, noting their pay has not kept pace with inflation. The union is also looking for more protections for motion-capture performers who wear markers or sensors on the skin or a bodysuit in order to help game makers create character movements.
Audrey Cooling told the outlet on behalf of the video game companies that they "will continue to negotiate in good faith to reach an agreement that reflects the important contributions of SAG-AFTRA-represented performers in video games."
“We have reached tentative agreements on over half of the proposals and are optimistic we can find a resolution at the bargaining," she
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