WGA & AMPTP To Resume Bargaining On Friday

The WGA and the AMPTP have agreed to resume bargaining for a deal that could end the guild’s ongoing strike.

In a message to members Thursday, the guild said that Carol Lombardini, president of the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, “has asked the WGA Negotiating Committee to meet with AMPTP negotiators on Friday. We expect the AMPTP to provide responses to WGA proposals.”

“Our committee returns to the bargaining table ready to make a fair deal, knowing the unified WGA membership stands behind us and buoyed by the ongoing support of our union allies,” the guild said.

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The two sides last met August 4, but were unable to reach an agreement to resume bargaining.

The writers strike over a new film and TV contract just passed the 100-day mark on Wednesday, making the strike as of today longer than the guild’s 2007-08 action. It is now 52 days away from becoming the longest in WGA history.

Chris Keyser and David A. Goodman, who co-chair the WGA’s negotiating committee, said of yesterday’s milestone: “The refusal to take writers’ reasonable proposals seriously has caused the WGA strike to last 100 days and counting; it serves only as a milestone of shame for the AMPTP. They and their member studios are wholly responsible for the over three-month shutdown of the industry and the pain it has caused workers and all others whose livelihoods depends on this business. The cost of settling the WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes is far less than the damage their intractability has caused. Ultimately, the studios have no choice but to make a fair deal. Until then, we remain resolved and united.”

The August 4 meeting, which was not a bargaining session but a sit-down to discuss a resumption of talks, ended acrimoniously, with the guild saying at the time that the the “AMPTP playbook continues.”  

The guild also accused the AMPTP of leaking details of the meeting to the press, saying that “before the negotiating committee even had a chance to meet, our communications department began hearing from the trades asking for comments on studio-leaked rumors of the contents of the confidential meeting. This is after the AMPTP spent much of the meeting emphasizing the need for a press blackout.”

At that meeting, WGA leaders said that Lombardini told them that the agreement reached with the Directors Guild in June “would be the deal on any pattern issues. She stated they were willing to increase their offer on a few writer-specific TV minimums – and willing to talk about AI – but that they were not willing to engage on the preservation of the writers’ room, or success-based residuals. She did not indicate willingness to address screenwriter issues, Appendix A issues, and many of the other proposals that remain on our list.”

Lombardini’s response, they said, “Echoes what was written in the AMPTP press statement yesterday: “People just want to get back to work.”

The AMPTP responded, saying that the guild’s negotiating committee’s “rhetoric is unfortunate. This strike has hurt thousands of people in this industry, and we take that very seriously. Our only playbook is getting people back to work.”

Stay tuned.

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