WGA Members Grant Strike Authorization
Writers Guild of America members voted to give their leadership authorization to strike late Friday, with the guild claiming record-setting participation in the vote. The guild said 90 percent the votes approved of the strike.
The authorization allows WGA leaders to call for a strike after the union's current contract expires Oct. 31.
“I am both impressed and gratified by this vote,” said WGA West President Patric Verrone in a statement. “It shows an overwhelmingly engaged and activated community of writers who care about this negotiation and support our goals."
Verrone challenged the media companies that comprise the Alliance of Motion Picture & Television Producers to negotiate in good faith.
"Writers do not want to strike, but they are resolute and prepared to take strong, united action to defend our interests," he said.
AMPTP President Nick Counter said the Writers Guild's action was expected.
"A strike authorization vote is a pro forma tactic used by every union in the country and usually the vote is overwhelmingly in favor of a strike," he said.
Referring to press reports that irregularities occurred in the Guild vote he said, "We are not surprised with the outcome of this vote, given reports of how this election was conducted. Our focus is on negotiating a reasonable agreement with the WGA.”
Earlier this week, the AMPTP withdrew its heavily contested residual restructuring proposal from the bargaining table that predicated writers' payments on production companies' ability to recoup costs.
The WGA said that proposal would have rolled back progress it had made in prior contracts. The union said too many similar “roll backs” remained on the table and took a break from negotiations.
The parties return to the talks on Monday.
1:42 p.m. Corrects contract expiration date