Sunday, August 31, 2008

AFTRA to Go It Alone on Interactive Contract Negotiation.

Here we go folks.
Deadline Hollywood has the scoop.
Here's the letter sent from Michael Bell regarding the negotiation:


It has come to the attention of the S.A.G. Interactive Committee, that AFTRA is about to negotiate the Interactive contract without the participation of S.A.G.

As you probably know, AFTRA and S.A.G. jointly bargained the Interactive Contract three years ago. Although the joint committees both agreed that RESIDUALS were the number one priority of the negotiations, the AFTRA committee members ultimately agreed to a contract with NO residuals. As a result, the S.A.G. committee members were left no choice but to accept the same terms.

In the three years since those negotiations, the Interactive industry has grown from $9 Billion dollars per year to $27 Billion dollars per year.

Also during that time, your S.A.G. Interactive Committee has been successful in organizing efforts that have turned a long time major non-union employer into a S.A.G. signatory with two huge projects in production.

We have been informed that AFTRA claims to be holding Wages and Working Conditions meetings with Interactive actors in preparation for their negotiations (which are said to be imminent.)

We know for a fact that a majority of the top Interactive actors (those who record numerous games each year) know nothing about AFTRA’s present W&W meetings or AFTRA's plans to go it alone in the upcoming Interactive contract negotiations.

Since AFTRA has not told the S.A.G. Interactive Committee anything about these negotiations, here are the questions all SAG actors that work that contract or expect to work that contract must ask:

1) Is AFTRA really holding Wages and Working Condition meetings with Interactive actors? And if actors are part of those meetings, who exactly has been invited?
2) What criteria did they use for their invitations?
3) Why have not all AFTRA members which are comprised mostly of VO talent been officially informed of these meetings?
4) Who is on the AFTRA committee that will be negotiating this contract?
5) What employers will be involved in these negotiations?
6) Why hasn't AFTRA contacted S.A.G. to coordinate negotiations?
7) When are the AFTRA Interactive negotiations set to begin?
8) Are RESIDUALS part of AFTRA’s proposals?
9) And most importantly: Will AFTRA abandon RESIDUALS once again as they did three years ago?

You can write directly to the AFTRA Interactive negotiator Mathis Dunn.

Please demand that AFTRA hold a caucus of the entire Interactive community of actors before beginning any negotiations.

Demand that AFTRA coordinate their negotiations with S.A.G. instead of de-leveraging S.A.G. as they did in the current TV/Theatrical negotiations.

Please send a copy of your correspondence to the S.A.G. Interactive Committee.

IMPORTANT NOTE: The Interactive Contract is completely independent from the TV/Theatrical contract currently being negotiated by S.A.G. The outcome of those negotiations have absolutely nothing to do with the Interactive Contract. No job action, if any, will have anything to do with this contract.

In solidarity,
Michael Bell
S.A.G. Interactive Chair

Merging these guilds can't happen soon enough...


  1. Juan,

    Thanks for the update. Interesting developments continue, huh?

    Be well,

  2. Truer words Bob.

    I'm gonna try and get a hold of my AFTRA pal to see what he says about the whole thing.


  3. Hey there Some Audio Guy,

    Thanks for the article. If ever there was a need for a merger, now is the time.

    Nobody knows what anybody else is doing....the AFTRA website doesn't have any further info about this


  4. Juan:
    Thanks for keeping all in the loop. Am interested in finding out what your friends with AFTRA have to say. Will look for your post!

  5. No prob James.
    I totally agree about a merger. I linked out to this over at the VO-BB, but I'll put it here too.

    I've had the pleasure of directing Edoardo Ballerini, so it made me very happy to read his interview over at
    Will SAG and AFTRA merge? It Could Happen and Here's How!

    As for AFTRA not having a response, well "mission" accomplished. By leaking this message out in the middle of a holiday weekend, you can get people all worked up before there can be any discussion on the issue.

  6. Hey Donna,
    Something tells me AFTRA wont be very happy about this...

  7. Audio Guy,
    Very interesting stuff. Funny, it always seems the trades get the information (scoop) before the members do. I haven't received any union communication on this issue...yet. I also agree with James Clamp. It's time to stop the nonsense and get on with a merger.
    All The Best,
    Bobbin Beam- Voice Actress

  8. Really it's the only thing that makes sense to me at this point.

    What would instantly stop all the back and forth nonsense? Not having two sides working against each other.