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November 1 – November 8, 2007 Edition
High as Writers
Guild Strike Nears
LOS ANGELES, CA/10/29/07–Tensions remain high today between the Writers Guild of American, West and East divisions (WGAW and WGAE) and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Productions Association (AMPTP) just two days before the October 31 strike deadline. The WGA Negotiating Committee.
This morning, we responded to the package presented yesterday by the AMPTP. We agreed to several of their proposals and withdrew or modified a number of our own proposals in order to narrow the areas in dispute,” a statement on the WGA site said. “The AMPTP caucused for more than four hours and returned with a package that included new rollbacks related to our pension and health funds. They rejected our modified proposals and ignored our working group offer.”
The two groups were due to meet again on Tuesday, October 30, just ahead of Wednesday night’s contract deadline.
WGA Lead Negotiator David Youngs opening statement from todays negotiations, “This is a complex business and one that faces significant technological change. But it is also simple: it is a business where everything depends upon quality content being distributed across multiple platforms. In conversations over the past year, three top executives of your companies made that exact statement to me. Everything depends upon quality content.
In the process of content creation, writers are fundamental creators. Compelling, exciting, humorous stories are the linchpin of the industry’s success. Writers create the basic material that drives your success.”
He added that “We have to find a way in this negotiation to deal with all of these issues in a manner that is fair to writers and fair to the industry. We want to do that. That is why we are here. Whether or not that will be possible remains to be seen. We are well aware that negotiations are about power and the ability to exercise it. We’re prepared to do that.”
The Writers Guild of America, West (WGAW) and the Writers Guild of America, East (WGAE) represent writers in the motion picture, broadcast, cable, and new media industries in both entertainment and news. The unions conduct numerous programs, seminars, and events throughout the world on issues of interest to, and on behalf of, writers.
WGA Negotiating Committee Chairman John Bowman, issued a statement October 5 that the WGA “remains determined to make a fair deal.” Bowman said the AMPTP, which represents networks and studios, “is stuck on its rollback proposals including profit-based residuals. Our members will not stand for that. The entertainment industry is successful and growing like never before. Writers, whose creativity is at the heart of that success and growth, are committed to sharing in it.”
The Guild’s agreement with the AMPTP was to expire on October 31, 2007. Provisions of the agreement cover about 12,000 members of the Writers Guild West and the Writers Guild East.
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