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SAG-AFTRA president: Voice actor strike entering 'crucial phase'

SAG-AFTRA president: Voice actor strike entering 'crucial phase'

January 27, 2017 | By Chris Kerr

U.S. screen actors guild SAG-AFTRA has said its strike against video game companies such as EA, Insomniac, and WB Games is now entering a "crucial phase."

SAG-AFTRA chose to go on strike over 100 days ago in an effort to secure better working conditions and fairer compensation for its video game voice actors. 

As reported by Deadline, SAG-AFTRA president Gabrielle Carteris has implored its members to attend a rally next week outside the guild's Los Angeles headquarters, suggesting it's critically important that members continue to apply pressure. 

"I am reaching out with an urgent request. SAG-AFTRA needs your help in moving employers to agree to a 21st century contract," wrote Carteris in an email to union board members. 

"We are holding what’s expected to be our largest rally to date, and while we all have busy schedules and time is valuable, this is a vital action for our union. We need your voice. Join us on February 2 to send management the message that resolving the strike will benefit everyone."

On the surface, those companies affected by the strike seem relatively unmoved. Sam Singer, a spokesperson currently representing the studios, suggested the strike will be a fruitless endeavor unless the guild is willing to negotiate. 

"The companies are the greatest advocates for the skill and talent of the performers represented by SAG-AFTRA and their contributions to the video games that the public loves," offered Singer. 

"The union leadership's planned protest on February 2 may make good theater, but it doesn't get them any closer to a contract, which is something we imagine their members would like to achieve. It's one thing to protest; it's wholly another to negotiate."

According to Singer, the studios are -- and always have been -- willing to negotiate, but it seems there's still some way to go before a deal that suits both parties can be ironed out.

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