SAG-AFTRA has been negotiating with several companies in the video game development industry in the last year concerning the Interactive Media Agreement and safeguarding protections for on-camera performers, future AI use, and securing higher wages. Workers at some of the biggest development and publishing companies such as Activision, Electronic Arts, Epic Games, and others are being represented by SAG-AFTRA, who hopes to have a member-approved strike authorization, when negotiations resume on September 26th. SAG-AFTRA President Fran Descher commented on both the TV and theatrical contract as well as the Interactive Media Agreement negotiations reaching a halt:
“The overlap of these two SAG-AFTRA contracts is no coincidence, but rather a predictable issue impacting our industry as well as others all over the world. The disease of greed is spreading like wildfire ready to burn workers out of their livelihoods and humans out of their usefulness. We at SAG-AFTRA say NO! Not on our watch!”
The current issues being negotiated are:
- On-camera performers being entitled to a five-minute break every hour, the same as off-camera performers.
- 11% retroactive wage increases to expiration and 4% increases the next two years
- Protections against companies having unrestricted use of AI
This is taking place at the same time the rest of the industry is experiencing an upsurge in unionization efforts at companies such as Sega of America, Raven Software, and ZeniMax Media.