Will a WGA strike stop productions? It depends on the length of the strike, and who’s going to honor, or cross, the picket-lines. The 2007 WGA strike lasted 100 days and affected absolutely everything.
Here are the details…
WRITERS GUILD of AMERICA (WGA) members have voted overwhelmingly to authorize a strike. The vote, which was approved by nearly 98% of the eligible voting members, authorizes the WGA West Board and the WGA East Council to call a strike if a fair deal for a new film and TV contract isn’t reached by May 1, when the current pact expires.
The guild said: “After several weeks at the bargaining table, [the studios] have failed to offer meaningful responses on the core economic issues in any of the WGA’s primary work areas — screen, episodic television and comedy-variety. They have listened politely to our presentations and made small moves in only a few areas, almost entirely coupled with rollbacks designed to offset any gains. In short, the studios have shown no sign that they intend to address the problems our members are determined to fix in this negotiation. “
Going into the negotiations, the guild’s Pattern of Demands, which are a long list of general goals, were broken down into three categories. They include:
Compensation and Residuals
- Increased minimum compensation significantly to address the devaluation of writing in all areas of television, new media and features.
- Standardized compensation and residual terms for features whether released theatrically or on streaming.
- Address the abuses of mini-rooms.
- Ensure appropriate television series writing compensation throughout entire process of preproduction, production and post production.
- Expand span protections to cover all television writers.
- Apply MBA minimums to comedy variety programs made for new media.
- Increased residuals for under compensated reuse markets.
- Restrict uncompensated use of excerpts.
Pension Plan and Health Fund
- Increase contributions to pension plan and health fund.
Professional Standards and Protection in the Employment of Writers
- For feature contracts in which compensation falls below a specified threshold, require weekly payment of compensation and a minimum of two steps.
- Strengthen regulation of options and exclusivity in television writer employment contracts.
- Regulate use of material produced using artificial intelligence or similar technologies.
- Enact measures to combat discrimination and harassment and to promote pay equity
- Revise and expand all arbitrator lists.