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Writers Guild Strike Nearing The End?
WISCONSINREPORT.COM (02/09/08) - Women, children, teens and men throughout Wisconsin, and the rest of the country may soon be watching more than just reruns, pilots for shows that were in the can before the writer's strike, reality tv shows, quiz shows, contrived competitions, and the like. The presidents of the Writers Guild of America, west and east, have sent a joint letter to WGA members, that states the WGA negotiators and Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) have worked out a tentative deal.
Optimistic industry spokespeople are hoping productions can become ramping up soon to start working on new episodes of the country's favorite television programs. They are joining the stars, writers, production staffers, and viewers and showbiz fans who have been missing the work and entertainment needed for everybody to get through life in this day and age.
If ratified, the WGA - AMPTP agreement would, reportedly, protect writers during a future in which the Internet may become the primary means of both show content creation and delivery.
Although full details have not yet been disclosed, the tentative agreement is expected to create formulas for revenue-based residuals in new media, as well as provide access to deals and financial data to help WGA members evaluate and enforce those formulas.
The agreement, as currently tentatively fashioned, establishes the principle that, "When they get paid, we get paid."
The full details of the tentative agreement are being explained and discussed at Saturday Writers Guild of America membership meetings on both the east and west coasts today.
The WGA is also discussing how the union will proceed regarding ratification of the tentative agreement, and, lifting the restraining order that ends the strike.
The tentative agreement between the WGA and AMPTP is the result of months of what has been called, physical resolve, determination and perseverance. The contract under consideration this weekend 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.
The WGA presidents, both WGA-East and WGA-West are encouraging union members to accept the terms of the current, tentative contract. They have stated that they believe that "continuing to strike now will not bring sufficient gains to outweigh the potential risks and that the time has come to accept this contract and settle the strike."
WGA management and striking members have been heartened by the outpouring of support and the backing of other unions and their members worldwide, the respect of elected leaders and politicians throughout the nation, and the overwhelming support of fans and the general public.
However, after the tentative agreement between the WGA and AMPTP and the WGA strike ends, the WGA members are being urged to support the members of the Screen Actors Guild, who may be facing the same challenges when their contract expires in five months.
Even though writers of reality TV, and animation are not covered by the tentative WGA contract, the WGA may be fighting for their rights down the road as well, according to comments by the EGA-East and WGA-West presidents. They say its important to continue to use the new collective power generated for collective benefit.