After their first day of bargaining since the Writers Guild strike on May 2, the AMPTP and WGA stalled their talks until next week after the companies made a counter-proposal to the Guild’s proposals.
Here is the WGA’s message to members this evening:
“Your negotiating team today received a counter proposal from AMPTP. We will evaluate their offer and, after consultation, get back to them with the WGA’s response next week.
“When each side is held without an explanation of the moves and a public breakdown of the meaning of the moves, sometimes more progress is made in negotiations. That will be our approach, at least for now, until it becomes important to report, or until management tries to influence the story using media or industry proxies.
“The Guild always reserves the right to communicate with our members when we feel there is news you need to know. In the meantime, continue to show your commitment by showing up on picket lines: for yourself, for your fellow writers, for SAG-AFTRA, for fellow union members, and for everyone in our community affected by the strikes.
The main issues of the 102-day strike are wage increases, audience-driven streaming residuals, “protecting the writers’ room” through minimum staffing and guaranteed work days, and bans on using artificial intelligence to write scripts.
AMPTP President Carole Lombardini first raised hopes that the strike would end on August 1. Called to meet with Guild’s negotiating team to discuss the terms of the negotiations again on August 4. However, those talks were quickly scuttled the same day they began when they broke down acrimoniously, with the guild accusing AMPTP of continuing to play by its old “tired anti-union playbook”.
AMPTP responded that “our only playbook is getting people back to work” and questioned whether “we have a willing bargaining partner.”
Hopes were raised again when the WGA announced that Lombardini had reached the gilt again – this time to actually start negotiating.
“Knowing that a united WGA membership stands behind us and buoyed by the continued support of our union partners, our team returns to the bargaining table to strike a fair deal,” the guild said of the call. “We expect AMPTP to provide responses to the WGA proposals.”
If a tentative agreement is eventually reached, it will be four days before the strike officially ends, subject to approval of the agreement by the governing bodies of WGA West and WGA East, and then by their members. The WGA’s last two strikeouts — in 1988 and 2007-08 — took that long to complete.