After the first day of negotiation since the writers’ union went on strike on May 2, the AMPTP and WGA have suspended their negotiations until next week after the two companies filed a counterproposal to the union’s proposals.
This is the WGA’s message to members this evening:
“Your negotiating committee received a counter-proposal from AMPTP today. We will evaluate their bid and, after deliberation, get back to them with a WGA response next week.”
Sometimes more progress can be made in negotiations when they are conducted without a detailed description of the moves on each side and a subsequent general dissection of what those moves mean. This will be our approach, at least for now, until there is something significant to report, or unless management uses media or industry alternatives to try to influence the narrative.
“The Guild is always entitled to reach out to our members and will do so when we think there is news you need to know. In the meantime, please continue to show your commitment by showing up on picket lines: for yourselves, fellow writers, SAG-AFTRA, fellow Guild members, and all those affected strikes in our society.
Key issues in the 102-day strike include pay increases, viewership-based broadcast leftovers, “maintaining writers’ room” through minimum staffing and guaranteed workdays, and a firewall against the use of AI in scriptwriting.
Hopes of ending the strike were first raised again on August 1, when AMPTP President Carole Lombardini He called the trade union negotiating committee to a meeting On August 4 to discuss the terms of the resumption of bargaining. It was soon shattered, however, when those talks came to a grinding halt the very day they began, with the union accusing AMPTP of continuing to play with the same “tired anti-union playbook”.
AMPTP responded saying that “our only evidence is to get people back to work”, and asked “whether we have a willing bargaining partner”.
Hopes were raised again on Thursday when the WGA announced that Lombardini had reached out to the union again – this time to actually restart negotiations.
“Our committee returns to the negotiating table ready to strike a fair deal, knowing that the united WGA membership is behind us and underpinned by the continued support of our union allies,” the union said of the call. “We expect AMPTP to provide responses to the WGA’s proposals.”
When a tentative agreement is finally reached, it will take about four days for the strike to officially end, with the governing bodies of the WGA West and WGA East agreeing and then their membership certifying the contract. This is how long it took to finish the last two WGA strikes – in 1988 and 2007 – 2008.
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