Writers End Strike After WGA Members Ratify New Studio Contract – Deadline

The writers have officially ratified their deal with the studio.

This afternoon, the WGA membership ratified its contract with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, ending a nearly five-month strike.

After a week of voting, the vast majority of WGA members voted in favor of ratifying a three-year minimum basic agreement. About 8,525 valid votes, or “99% of WGA members”, as the guild just put it, were cast by members of the 11,000-strong Writers Guild of America West and Writers Guild of America East.

“There were 8,435 ‘yes’ votes and 90 ‘no’ votes,” the guild announced in an email sent to members.

The now-sealed deal runs from September 25, 2023, to May 31, 2026, with major advancements for writers in terms of AI guardrails, residuals, writers room staffing, and data transparency, as well as pay increases.

Monday’s widely anticipated strong ratification result comes nearly two weeks after the two sides reached a tentative agreement on Sept. 24, ending a 148-day strike, the second-longest after the 1988 journalists’ strike. There was a strike. The results also came on the same day that the still-striking SAG-AFTRA began a second week of renewed negotiations with AMPTP. As with the WGA for most of the summer, the 160,000-strong actors’ union began striking in mid-July.

The WGA held its first strike in 15 years on May 2, as its last contracts with studios and streamers expired. Protests continued throughout NYC and LA and elsewhere in the United States, but the two sides did not officially speak for over 100 days.

After a glitch in a studio restart in August, starting September 20, Warner Bros. Discovery’s David Zaslav, Netflix’s Ted Sarandos, NBCUniversal’s Donna Langley and Disney’s Bob Iger ultimately met with WGA chief negotiator Ellen Stutzman. -Sat down live with former guild president David Goodman and. Chris Keyser and other members of the WGA negotiating committee in hopes of a breakthrough.

On September 26, two days after that successful deal was achieved, both the WGA West Board and the WGA East Council voted unanimously to recommend the agreement to their members and send it for a vote. At the same time, WGAW President Meredith Stiehm and WGAE President Lisa Takeuchi told members that they “strongly support this proposed contract and encourage you to vote for its ratification.”

Today Stiehm and Takeuchi both praise the huge mandate given by the members.

“Through solidarity and determination, we have ratified a contract with meaningful benefits and protections for writers in every area of ​​our combined membership,” the WGAW leader said after the vote tally was made public. “Together we were able to achieve what many people said was impossible just six months ago. We’re joined by WGA chief negotiator Allen Stutzman, negotiating committee co-chairs Chris Keyser and David A. Goodman would not have been able to achieve this industry-changing contract without the entire WGA negotiating committee, strike captains, lot coordinators and support staff. Every part of the negotiations and the strike.”

“Now is the time for AMPTP to put the rest of the city back to work by negotiating a fair contract with our SAG-AFTRA brothers and sisters,” said the WGAE chief, who has supported the writers throughout our negotiations. ” “Until the studios reach a deal that meets the artists’ needs, WGA members will remain on strike and stand shoulder to shoulder with SAG-AFTRA in solidarity.”

In a statement of its own, the AMPTP, led by Carole Lombardini, expressed a more measured reaction to today’s ratification vote. “AMPTP member companies congratulate the WGA on the ratification of its new contract, which represents meaningful benefits and protections for writers,” the group representing studios and streamers said. “This is important progress for our industry that writers are back at work.”

WGA members across the country received their ratification ballots and supporting materials via email on October 2. Voting runs until 1 p.m. PT today, with the guild holding an afternoon question-and-answer session at its Fairfax and 3rd Avenue headquarters. We heard that very few people were present in that session. The low attendance was due in part to a significant contingent of Writers Guild members voting early the previous week.

The last time writers were on strike – in 2007/08 – the latter deal was approved by 93.6% with 4,060 votes.

With the West Coast Board and East Coast Council lifting the restrictive orders and the long strike ending at 12:01 a.m. PT on September 27, writers have already returned to work. While the actors are still on strike, supported by many WGA members, there is optimism that things are progressing smoothly with negotiations that resumed today after a bargain-basement last week.

As the currently negotiating SAG-AFTRA continues to seek its own agreement with studios and streamers, many shows have reopened their writers’ rooms over the past week as broadcast networks, cablers and streaming services. Want to get your slates back into production soon. Celebrity guests are still few and far between, but already late-night shows are airing reruns, as are most daytime shows. Saturday night Live is set to begin its 49th season on October 14.

There was no picketing today by SAG-AFTRA or its affiliates in connection with the Indigenous Peoples Day holiday.


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