Writers' Strike (Tentatively) Over!
WGA members voting on proposed deal early this week.
An outline of the deal was released to the WGA's members over the weekend, in a letter from Michael Winship and Patric Verrone, presidents of the Guild's eastern and western branches, respectively. Winship and Verrone summed up the new terms:
Less than six months ago, the AMPTP wanted to enact profit-based residuals, defer all Internet compensation in favor of a study, forever eliminate "distributor's gross" valuations, and enforce 39 pages of rollbacks to compensation, pension and health benefits, reacquisition, and separated rights. Today, thanks to three months of physical resolve, determination, and perseverance, we have a contract that includes WGA jurisdiction and separated rights in new media, residuals for Internet reuse, enforcement and auditing tools, expansion of fair market value and distributor's gross language, improvements to other traditional elements of the MBA, and no rollbacks.
Although the Guild was forced to abandon some of its demands -- most notably jurisdiction over animation and "reality" writers -- the "new media" concessions are a huge step forward. Without getting into too much detail, the terms of the proposed deal offer writers a much larger chunk of those royalties than the Alliance previously seemed willing to give. (You can read the full outline at the second link below.)
After hammering out the deal, WGA leadership held a meeting for Guild members at the Shrine Auditorium Saturday night. According to Variety, the membership will now "have the chance to vote on whether to end the strike under a 48-hour voting process." Although it isn't the immediate back-to-work order some were expecting, it seems safe to assume that, after weeks of being out of work, a sufficient majority will vote to accept the deal. As Craig Wright, creator of ABC's Dirty Sexy Money, told Variety:
"The strike was definitely worth it. There's not a single gain that we made that we would have got if we hadn't been on strike. But it's time to end it. It's time to go backto work."