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SAG-AFTRA Draws Hundreds to Warner Bros. Strike Picket

SAG-AFTRA drew several hundred supporters to picket Warner Bros. in Burbank, California, for Thursday, the second demonstration since the performers union went on strike against video game companies on Oct. 21.

The union drew more than 100 supporters on Oct. 24 at Electronic Arts in Playa del Rey, California, to back the strike. SAG-AFTRA launched the strike by voice actors against EA, Warner Bros., and nine other video game makers after negotiations cratered over the key issues of secondary compensation (residuals) and transparency for voice actors — meaning that the union wants companies to stop being able to hire without identifying the game.

SAG-AFTRA received support for Thursday’s picket from the American Federation of Musicians, the Writers Guild of America West, and the Intl. Alliance of Theatrical Stage Workers. WB Games, Inc. and Voiceworks Productions were the targets.

SAG-AFTRA national executive director David White said, “We are ready to make a deal today if our bargaining partners will accept a reasonable contract that helps performers and corporations alike. Our members want to be back in the motion capture volume and recording booths using their talent to help bring these games to life. But we can’t do that until we have a fair deal that recognizes their contributions to the success of these games.”

Scott Witlin, who represents the video game companies, told Variety that SAG is quibbling over the language of the deal and blasted the leadership for not allowing members to vote on the final offer, providing an immediate 9% pay hike.

“If SAG-AFTRA’s leadership is committed to making a deal, it should stick to the facts and put the Companies’ Comprehensive and Enhanced Final Package Proposal out to the members and for a vote,” he said.

“It is a very lucrative offer that was the result of hard bargaining from the SAG-AFTRA negotiating committee. The dollars that are on the table are just as good and just as green as what SAG-AFTRA has been demanding. Every day the Union prevents its members from working costs them money that they will never make back and will result SAG-AFTRA snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. The talented performers our companies’ value deserve to be treated better by their union.”

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