Los Angeles (July 28, 2005) – Screen Actors Guild (SAG) members voted today by a margin of 81.2 percent to 18.8 percent to overwhelmingly approve the proposed Interactive Media Agreement recently negotiated with video game producers. In accordance with a national board decision on June 29, the referendum was sent to Screen Actors Guild performers with earnings under the previous three-year agreement with the video game industry—as well as any eligible, paid-up SAG member in good standing who requested a ballot. The new contract will go into effect on Friday July 29, 2005 and run through December 31, 2008.
Of 3,373 ballots mailed, 42.8 percent were returned (1,932 ballots were sent automatically to members identified as having earnings under the previous Interactive contract; an additional 1,441 Screen Actors Guild members requested and received ballots). The agreement was jointly negotiated with the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA), which approved the contract in June and for whom the contract has already gone into effect.
“By voting for this contract, SAG members have achieved major gains despite the fact that we were not able to win in the area of residuals,” said Screen Actors Guild chief negotiator Sallie Weaver. “The interactive market is of vital importance to our membership, and SAG will spend the next three-and-a-half years devoting resources to further organize this exploding industry so that we can return to the bargaining table with renewed strength and vigor.”
Screen Actors Guild is the nation’s largest labor union representing working actors. Established in 1933, SAG has a rich history in the American labor movement, from standing up to studios to break long-term engagement contracts in the 1940s to fighting for artists’ rights amid the digital revolution sweeping the entertainment industry in the 21st century. With 20 branches nationwide, SAG represents nearly 120,000 working actors in film, television, industrials, commercials and music videos. The Guild exists to enhance actors’ working conditions, compensation and benefits and to be a powerful, unified voice on behalf of artists’ rights. SAG is a proud affiliate of the AFL-CIO. Headquartered in Los Angeles, you can visit SAG online at www.sag.org.