The membership of the Writers Guild of America (WGA) voted overwhelmingly Tuesday, Feb. 12, to end their 100-day strike, paving the way for TV and movie writers, and other entertainment workers, to return to work earlier today. Guild leaders notified some 10,500 writers who walked off the job on Nov. 5 by email of the resolution.
Union officials reported that 3,775 writers turned out in Los Angeles and New York to cast ballots or fax in proxies, with 92.5 percent voting in favor of ending the work stoppage. The WGA membership will vote later this month to formally ratify the tentative three-year contract with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers. The contract provides new payments to writers for work streamed on the internet and doubles rates they earn for films and TV shows resold as internet downloads. It also extends the union’s contract to cover digital media and internet content, according to WGA.
“The strike is over. Our membership has voted, and writers can go back to work,” Patric M. Verrone, president of the Writers Guild of America, West, said in a statement. “This was not a strike we wanted, but one we had to conduct in order to win jurisdiction and establish appropriate residuals for writing in new media and on the Internet. Those advances now give us a foothold in the digital age. Rather than being shut out of the future of content creation and delivery, writers will lead the way as TV migrates to the Internet and platforms for new media are developed.”
Verrone noted that writers for the Feb. 24 Academy Awards ceremony were believed to have started work on the show on Tuesday night. Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences president Sid Ganis and Oscarcast executive producer Gil Cates will hold a news conference Thursday morning to discuss their plans for the show now that the picket lines have cleared and the stars are free again to work without crossing the picket lines.