At the start of September, SAG-AFTRA sent voting information to eligible members and today the outcome is clear: strike authorization has been approved. While this does not mean the video game members are going on strike, it gives the union the permission to strike should negotiations continue to stagnate.
On September 25, 2023, SAG-AFTRA confirmed that the overwhelming majority of members voted in favor of a strike authorization. There were 34,687 ballots cast, representing just 27.47 percent of eligible voters, and the outcome was that 98.32 percent are in favor of the strike authorization.
SAG-AFTRA notes that this does not mean the union is calling a strike. This is another piece of added leverage that can be utilized during the bargaining sessions and indicates that the members are ready to strike if need be.
The post highlights that negotiations with video game companies has been ongoing since October 2022 with the strike authorization vote starting at the beginning of September 2023. The negotiations were in a bid to seek proper terms for issues important to the members including wages that keep up with inflation, protection from artificial intelligence, and safety precautions.
“After five rounds of bargaining, it has become abundantly clear that the video game companies aren’t willing to meaningfully engage on the critical issues: compensation undercut by inflation, unregulated use of AI and safety,” said SAG-AFTRA National Executive Director and Chief Negotiator Duncan Crabtree-Ireland. “I remain hopeful that we will be able to reach an agreement that meets members’ needs, but our members are done being exploited, and if these corporations aren’t willing to offer a fair deal, our next stop will be the picket lines.”
There will be another round of bargaining sessions this week on September 26, 27, and 28, and SAG-AFTRA hopes that the strike authorization will help “compel the companies to make significant movement on critical issues.” Keep it locked to Shacknews as we keep you updated on the situation.