The Screen Actors Guild – American Film Federation of Television and Radio Artists followed through with their strike, as promised. They mentioned that they would be picketing the offices of Electronic Arts, and they followed through with that as well.
GamesIndustry.biz is reporting that various other unions have come out in support of SAG, including the Writer’s Guild of America, the Musicians Union and the Teamsters. More than 250 people were picketing outside of Electronic Arts’ offices.
According to a PR statement on the PR Newswire issued by the law firm representing the publishers, Barnes & Thornburg, Scott J. Witlin explains that many of the demands from SAG have been met, including ongoing discussions regarding stunt coordinators, a proposal to break down four hour work sessions into two hour sessions spread across five days, a 0.5% increase in health and pension benefits, and a 9% wage increase.
The one thing that they were still reticent on was divulging details about a project in development. They would be willing to offer codenames of projects and inform some performers if they would be reprising a role.
According to Witlin, the publishers and game companies have stepped up to fulfill their duties, explaining..>
“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.”
According to SAG, they aren’t just interested in the upfront 9% increase but in the actual residuals.
SAG’s chief of contracts, Ray Rodriguez, explained that the upfront payment was just an option, but performers should still have residual payments available as part of the contract…
“”In the spirit of compromise, we made it [upfront] an option,” […] “but they’re taking advantage of that to make it look like we are having a dispute over terminology, when it fact our dispute is about the biggest dispute these parties have had in the 20-plus years that this contract has existed.”
SAG will continue to strike until amicable negotiations with the publishers and game companies are reached.