July 29, 2005

Screen Actors union approves video game contract

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Members of the Screen Actors'
Guild overwhelmingly approved a new contract covering their
work in video games, the union's Web site said on Friday.

The vote was approved by a margin of 81.2 to 18.8 percent
late on Thursday, and sent a strong message to SAG's national
executive committee, which in June narrowly voted to nullify a
previous SAG member vote approving the agreement.

The contract with video game companies, including industry
giant Electronic Arts Inc., was jointly negotiated by SAG and
the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists.

The agreement won higher wages and better benefits for
union members, but failed to secure residual payments for a
union actor whose voice or likeness appears in a video game.

AFTRA members approved the contract in June and have been
working under the contract.

"By voting for this contract, SAG members have achieved
major gains despite the fact that we were not able win in the
area of residuals," Screen Actors Guild chief negotiator Sallie
Weaver said in a statement.