- After 146 days, the end of the Writers Guild of America strike is in sight.
- Union members still need to vote on the details of a new deal but the offer presented by production houses looks agreeable to the union.
- Hollywood actors remain on strike and video game actors have joined them following a vote at the weekend.
For 146 days, writer rooms at major studios and production houses sat empty as members of the Writers Guild of America (WGA) took strike action. The union made the decision to strike after negotiations with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) reached a dead end.
At the weekend, the two bodies reached a tentative deal that could see the end of the strike which started on 2nd May. According to Variety, the new deal was submitted to WGA on Saturday and was the AMPTP’s “best and final offer”. The details of the agreement aren’t public knowledge but the WGA appears to be rather pleased with what was put on the table.
“We can say, with great pride, that this deal is exceptional—with meaningful gains and protections for writers in every sector of the membership,” the WGA negotiating committee wrote to members.
The strike however, isn’t over and there is still a lot of work to be done. With that having been said, the union will suspend picketing efforts.
“Once the Memorandum of Agreement with the AMPTP is complete, the Negotiating Committee will vote on whether to recommend the agreement and send it on to the WGAW Board and WGAE Council for approval. The Board and Council will then vote on whether to authorize a contract ratification vote by the membership. If that authorization is approved, the Board and Council would also vote on whether to lift the restraining order and end the strike at a certain date and time (to be determined) pending ratification. This would allow writers to return to work during the ratification vote, but would not affect the membership’s right to make a final determination on contract approval,” the union explained.
The vote is scheduled to take place today and there will be meetings with union members so that they can learn more about this new deal.
Hollywood’s woes aren’t over just yet however as actors who are part of the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) union are still on strike. The union congratulated WGA on reaching a tentative agreement while reiterating that AMPTP should return to the negotiating table to reach a deal with actors. SAG-AFTRA members in the videogame space unanimously voted in favour of a strike on Monday.
“Between the exploitative uses of AI and lagging wages, those who work in video games are facing many of the same issues as those who work in film and television,” said chief contracts officer at SAG-AFTRA, Ray Rodriguez.
“This strike authorization makes an emphatic statement that we must reach an agreement that will fairly compensate these talented performers, provide common-sense safety measures, and allow them to work with dignity. Our members’ livelihoods depend on it,” Rodriguez added.