After nearly 150 days, Hollywood’s writers and studios have a preliminary labour agreement. Talks between the Writers Guild of America (WGA) and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) resumed last week, ending months of intermittent negotiations. This development has led to a tentative deal that could end the ongoing writers’ Strike.
The WGA and AMPTP are presently in the process of drafting the final contract language. In a letter to its members on Sunday night, the WGA negotiation committee expressed gratitude for the members’ commitment and solidarity during the challenging 146-day period. They emphasized that the Strike and the support of fellow unions played a pivotal role in bringing the studios back to the bargaining table.
The Strike, initiated by Hollywood writers in early May, resulted from breakdowns in negotiations with major studios, including Disney, Paramount, Universal, Warner Bros., and Discovery. Television and film writers were seeking safeguards against artificial intelligence and increased compensation for content distributed via streaming platforms.
While the specific provisions of the preliminary contract were not disclosed, the WGA assured its members that the deal includes substantial benefits and protections for writers across various sectors of the union.
Once the WGA and AMPTP agree upon the contract language, the negotiating committee will vote on recommending the agreement, which will be sent to the WGAW Board and WGAE Council for approval.
Subsequently, the board and council will vote on authorizing a contract ratification vote by the membership.
It’s important to note that the Strike is not officially over, and WGA members are instructed not to return to work until the agreement is ratified. They are encouraged to continue showing solidarity with striking actors on picket lines.
SAG-AFTRA, the acting guild, congratulated the WGA on reaching a tentative agreement and expressed their commitment to securing favourable terms for their members.
Following negotiations with writers, the AMPTP must address the ongoing Strike by the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA). SAG-AFTRA members have been on strike since mid-July, seeking contract updates similar to those pursued by the writers.
Hollywood performers strive for improved wages, working conditions, health and pension benefits, and guidelines for AI usage in future productions.
Additionally, they seek transparency from streaming services regarding viewership data to ensure fair residual payments comparable to those for linear TV.