Voice actors' union strike continues with new picket outside Warner Bros. offices
Now two weeks into its labor strike against major game publishers, actors union SAG-AFTRA is remaining firm with the second in a series of planned pickets. Today's picket line targets Warner Bros. Games' offices in Burbank, California near Los Angeles, and strike participants are streaming the event live through the union's Facebook page.
WB Games is one of 11 companies involved in the strike, alongside other notable publishers including Activision and Electronic Arts, which the union picketed last week. SAG-AFTRA contends that these companies -- represented jointly by an LA-based negotiator -- have failed to reach a satisfactory compromise on a new performance contract with acceptable provisions for performers' health and safety, as well as residual payments for top-grossing titles.
The game companies have countered that they extended a suitable alternative to the residuals proposal, with a modest increase to hourly rate and possibility for bonuses. SAG-AFTRA has called this characterization of the proposal "disingenuous and misleading," and continued to assert that residuals -- very much the norm for performers in other entertainment industries -- ought to exist for voice actors as well.
SAG-AFTRA members account for only about a quarter of vocal talent in the videogame industry but include many of the best-known performers, including Jennifer Hale (Commander Shepard from Mass Effect), David Hayter (Solid Snake from Metal Gear), and actor Will Wheaton, all of whom have publicly lent their support for the strike.
Today's picket at Warner Bros. Games is expected to run from 10:00AM to 12:30PM, with further pickets outside other companies' offices in the coming weeks. You can read more about the union's demands at its official site and view the archived livestreams on its Facebook page.
UPDATE (7:22PM): According to a SAG-AFTRA press statement released this evening, more than 400 union members and allies attended today's picket at WB Games. This is nearly double the presence at last week's EA picket.
Top image via SAG-AFTRA.