The Writers Guild of America (WGA) on Monday announced that its 11,500 unionized screenwriters will go on strike from Tuesday over fair pay in the streaming area.
WGA includes both a West and an East branch, which voted unanimously in favor of Tuesday strike,
Television and movie writers would go for strike for the first time in last 15 years that would affect the industry as it would bring immediate halt to the production of many television shows. The strike would possibly push the start of new seasons of other shows later this year.
The union issued a statement which said that the union leaders tried to negotiate a fair deal but the studios’responses to their proposals have been “wholly insufficient, given the existential crisis writers are facing”.
In the statement, WGA indicated towards the creation of gig economy inside a union workforce due to the companies’ behavior. “From their refusal to guarantee any level of weekly employment in episodic television, to the creation of a ‘day rate’ in comedy variety, to their stonewalling on free work for screenwriters and on AI for all writers, they have closed the door on their labor force and opened the door to writing as an entirely freelance profession. No such deal could ever be contemplated by this membership,” it read.
The Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) is bargaining with unions on behalf of the studios and production companies.
AMPTP informed negotiations with union leaders on late Monday—just hours before the strike deadline—ended without an agreement, adding that they were willing to improve on its offer but was not willing to meet some of the union’s demands.
The AMPTP said it presented an offer with “generous increases in compensation for writers as well as improvements in streaming residuals.”