Published: Wed, May 03, 2017
Medicine | By Daryl Nelson

Hollywood writers' guild strikes deal

Hollywood writers' guild strikes deal

The Writers Guild (WGA) represents film and TV writers, while the AMPTP negotiates on behalf of studios and networks, and the two sides had been holding contract talks in recent weeks in an effort to reach a new deal before the expiration of the previous agreement.

"It came right down to the wire", said one person close to the talks who was not authorized to comment.

But, the statement notes, they didn't get "everything [they] wanted" or "everything [they] deserve". They also earn less in residual fees for shorter series.

Timeless creator Shawn Ryan, Chronicle writer Max Landis, Community creator Dan Harmon, Supergirl writer Paula Yoo and dozens more applauded the negotiating committee for their work, boasting it as an example of why having a union is so important to their industry.

An entertainment-industry crisis was averted when the AMPTP signed off on a new three-year film and TV contract for WGA members that addressed many, if not all, of writers' grievances.

The WGA fought to loosen those exclusivity restrictions, increase pay for writers and contribute employer funds to the guild's troubled health care plan.

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"In it, we made gains in minimums across the board - as well as contribution increases to our health plan that should ensure its solvency for years to come", the writers said. In 2007, 12,000 screenwriters and TV writers took part in the strike which lasted for 14 weeks and 2 days (100 days).

Officially the two sides are not commenting on negotiations, but reports suggest a compromise is in the works.

It also allows the networks to carry on with their schedules for the upcoming TV season without any disturbance, and includes a 15-percent increase in pay television residuals, Variety.com reported. The guild is threatening to strike again if an agreement with movie and TV studios is not reached by midnight, May 1, 2017.

Russ DeVol, the chief research officer at the Milken Institute, estimated a strike of similar duration would have cost California $2.5 billion today. That strike started November 5, 2007, and ended February 12, 2008. "We didn't get everything we wanted and they didn't get everything they wanted, which is usually the result of a successful negotiation".

If the WGA had walked out, it would have been the guild's seventh strike since 1960. In both cases, the most in-demand writers eventually got exhausted of losing income and applied pressure to wrap it up.

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