With this result in hand,” the union said, “the Negotiating Committee will seek to return to the bargaining table and continue to press for a fair resolution on behalf of performers working in video games.” The Interactive Media agreement expired on December 31, and bargaining sessions held in February and June failed to produce an agreement. “We’ve been through two rounds of negotiations with our employers, and they’ve rejected every proposal we’ve made,” the union said on its website. It says the companies’ proposals “are completely without precedent in the entertainment industry, and we believe they are reckless and ill-advised.”
These proposals, the union says, would allow the companies to hire their own employees to play characters in video games without having to join the union, reductions in fees that would “roll back the gains we’ve made in previous contracts” and $2,500 fines against actors who are not “attentive to the services for which they have been engaged.” The guild told its members that “this means you could be fined for almost anything: checking an incoming text, posting to your Twitter feed, even zoning out for a second.”
The companies — which include EA Games, Activision, Disney and Warner Bros as well as smaller recording studios such as Blindlight and Formosa — also are seeking onerous sanctions against agents who refuse to send their clients to certain auditions.
“Our employers propose to fine your agent $50,000-$100,000 if they don’t send you out on certain auditions, like Atmospheric Voices or One Hour-One Voice sessions,” the union told its members. “And if your agent chooses not to submit you for certain auditions, the employers want it put into contract language that SAG-AFTRA will revoke the agent’s union franchise. This would mean your agency would not be able to send you or anyone else they represent out on any union jobs, including those in animation, TV/Film, Commercials, etc.”
The union’s chief demand is for backend bonuses for voice actors that would be triggered once a game sells 2 million s.
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As usual those running our union won’t tell us how many voted on this. And even more scurrilous they won’t tell us how many members were denied the right to even recieve a ballot. Way to go Ken!!!
The Ol’ SAG Watchdog
*Photo selected by Watchdog