WGA votes to end work stoppage

The Writers Guild of America (WGA) strike is officially over.

On the 148th day of the work stoppage, the board of the WGA West and the council of the WGA East voted unanimously Tuesday to lift the strike order until 12:01 a.m. PT on Wednesday. Following a tentative agreement on a new contract with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP). This means writers can go back to work from Wednesday, even before the final ratification vote.

The ratification vote will be held Oct. 2-Oct. 9. The WGA will hold member meetings on both coasts this week, in person and on Zoom, to discuss the details of the contract. Given the enthusiastic support of the WGA negotiating committee, it is expected to be easily approved by strike-weary members.

To remove the strike order, the WGA’s Negotiating Committee, WGA West Board and WGA East Council voted unanimously to send the contract to members for ratification.

WGA West will hold a member meeting Wednesday night at 7 pm PT at the Hollywood Palladium. The WGA East will take place at the Manhattan Center the same night at 6 p.m. ET. Zoom meetings will be held Thursday at 5pm PT and Friday at 11am PT.

The WGA also released the full 94-page contract and a summary of the new terms. The deal includes benefits in compensation, a new requirement for minimum staffing levels in TV writers’ rooms, improved payment terms for screenwriters, and protections for the use of artificial intelligence in the writing process. According to the guild agreement:

  • AI cannot write or rewrite literary material, and AI-generated material will not be considered source material under the MBA, meaning that AI-generated material cannot be used to credit or dilute an author’s rights. Cannot be done.
  • A writer may choose to use AI when performing writing services, if the Company consents and provided that the writer adheres to applicable company policies, but the Company may require the writer to use AI software (for example, ChatGPT) when performing writing services. may not need to be used.
  • The Company must disclose to the Author whether any content provided to the Author is generated by AI or contains AI-generated content.
  • The WGA reserves the right to assert that exploitation of the authors’ content to train AI is prohibited by MBA or other law.

The unanimous decision to end the strike comes two days after writers and Hollywood studios successfully concluded negotiations for a new three-year agreement on September 24. After a marathon negotiation session, both parties were able to reach agreement on key issues, including generative AI, writer’s rooms, and minimum staffing requirements for streaming residuals in the creative process.

“We can proudly say that this deal is extraordinary – with meaningful benefits and protections for writers in every area of ​​the membership,” the WGA said in a statement announcing the temporary deal Sunday.

The WGA and AMPTP have not yet released details of the tentative agreement, which the WGA membership will vote to approve in the coming days. Before the contract goes to the guilds for that vote, the WGA Negotiating Committee must first vote to send it to the WGA West and WGA East boards for approval, and the boards must fine-tune the document before it is sent to the larger membership. Will have to do. For the ratification vote.

The WGA’s vote to end the strike order officially ended the work stoppage, which was in effect until Sunday, when the WGA told the membership: “Clearly, no one is to return to work until Unless specifically authorized. Guild. We are on strike until then. But we are suspending the WGA strike through today. Instead, if you’re able, we encourage you to join us this week at SAG-AFTRA “Encourage you to join the picket lines.”

SAG-AFTRA is still picketing at AMPTP and waiting its turn to return to the negotiating table amid its 75-day strike.

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