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Deadline, TVWeek

SAG-AFTRA Pickets Video Game Companies, and the Companies Respond — Key Issue Is Vocal Stress

Oct 24, 2016  •  Post A Comment

SAG-AFTRA set up picket lines after failing to come to terms with video game makers, who responded today with an announcement saying they had met the union’s requests.

“The latest salvo between the sides comes as SAG-AFTRA kicked off its first picket line of the strike, at Electronic Arts’ headquarters in Playa Vista,” Deadline.com reports. “The companies involved in the action include EA, Activision Publishing, Inc.; Blindlight, LLC; Corps of Discovery Films; Disney Character Voices, Inc.; Formosa Interactive, LLC; Insomniac Games, Inc.; Interactive Associates, Inc.; Take 2 Interactive Software; VoiceWorks Productions, Inc.; and WB Games, Inc.”

In the response from the Interactive Video Game Companies, the companies released copies of the last proposals from the union and the companies, noting that the proposals “show that the Companies matched SAG-AFTRA’s requests for wages, benefits, and additional compensation before the Union called its strike. The documents also show that the Companies and the Union had reached agreement to collaboratively investigate vocal stress issues during the term of the next contract.”

Scott J. Witlin of the law firm Barnes & Thornburg, the chief negotiator for the companies, said in the announcement: “These proposals exchanged across the table prove the Companies and SAG-AFTRA have largely agreed on the significant issues before us except for the label we have placed on the ‘Additional Compensation,’ which would be paid above and beyond our proposed 9% pay increase. The documents also demonstrate that the Companies value performers and reached agreement with the Union on the issue of vocal stress.”

The release also notes: “Witlin reiterated that the Companies have been impressed by the research presented by SAG-AFTRA into the issue of vocal stress. The Companies attempted to address the concerns raised by the SAG-AFTRA bargaining committee during negotiations by offering performers innovative working arrangements including split sessions and multiple performer sessions, but those proposals were rejected by SAG-AFTRA leaders.”

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