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Moves to Organize Work for Performers in Growing Interactive Game Industry

Los Angeles, June 21, 2005 — The American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA) today announced the ratification of a new contract with video game companies covering performers in interactive games.  The new three-and-a-half year agreement -- reached after three months of bargaining and just before the results of a strike authorization vote were to be announced -- includes a 36 percent increase in minimum pay over the term of the contract, with 25 percent to be immediately implemented. In addition, the pact contains significant increases in benefit contributions, as well as greater protections for the performers who do this work.

The AFTRA Administrative Committee voted to approve the deal at its June 16 meeting.  Despite the fact that negotiations were held jointly and that both the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) and AFTRA Negotiating Committees unanimously recommended the final package, the same tentative agreement that the AFTRA Administrative Committee accepted, SAG’s National Executive Committee failed to ratify.  The Interactive Media Agreements do not fall under the unions’ Phase One to Merger structure.

AFTRA National President John P. Connolly noted, “It is unfortunate that our brothers and sisters at the Screen Actors Guild have chosen another path. We have stood together throughout this process and this deal was shaped with the input and support of both the AFTRA and SAG members of the Committees. I want to commend the AFTRA Committee, which stepped up and shouldered the responsibility of making the difficult choices presented in this negotiation. The AFTRA Administrative Committee supported their analysis and ratified the deal.  AFTRA will now move forward and implement this contract that provides work for performers, and a 35% wage increase, in a growing industry.  It is through organizing that we will achieve the density necessary to demand and receive the residuals working performers so justly deserve.”

The AFTRA contract, covering voice-over actors, singers, dancers, and performance capture performers, among others, will become effective July 1, 2005, and remain in full force until December 31, 2008. The previous agreement initially expired on December 31, 2004, but was extended several times as negotiations continued.

Highlights of the agreement include:

          An immediate 25 percent increase in minimum wages from $556 to $695 for a
            four-hour session for up to three voices with increases in subsequent years,
            bringing the daily rate up to $759.
          Double-time pay after six hours (previously ten hours) for three-voice performers.
          A 7.5 percent increase in contributions to the union’s Health & Retirement
            plans, bringing the rate up to 14.3 percent. 
          15-25 percent gains in rates for remote delivery and integration.
          Payment to actors for reuse of performances in promotional films longer than 12
          A specified rest period for each hour spent recording.
          Payment window shortened from 30 to 12 business days.
          Pre-work notification to actors performing in stressful sessions.


The American Federation of Television and Radio Artists -- affiliated with the AFL-CIO -- is a diverse national union representing nearly 80,000 professional performers, broadcasters and recording artists in 32 Locals throughout the country. AFTRA members work as actors, broadcast journalists, dancers, singers, announcers, hosts, comedians, and disc jockeys in all aspects of the media industries including television and radio, sound recordings, commercials, industrial non-broadcast, interactive games, and the Internet.  More information on AFTRA is available at