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Producers Submit New Proposal in WGA Talks

Oct 25, 2007  •  Post A Comment

With less than a week left on the Writers Guild of America’s contract, the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers placed what it called a “comprehensive proposal” on the bargaining table during today’s talks. The WGA said it would respond in detail Friday.
“The proposal lays the groundwork and provides a framework for an agreement,” AMPTP President Nick Counter said in a statement.
Mr. Counter said the AMPTP is looking for some common ground to establish between the two organizations in order reach an agreement before Oct. 31, the last day of the WGA’s current contract.
After removing a proposal to overhaul the current writers’ residual payment system from the bargaining table last week, the AMPTP is looking for a concession from the WGA’s side.
“Since the Producers’ withdrawal of the recoupment proposal, [the WGA has] made no moves at all on [its] proposals, much less any move that matched the magnitude of the removal of the recoupment proposal,” Carol Lombardini, AMPTP executive VP of Business & Legal Affairs, said in a statement.
The AMPTP’s proposal does not budge on several of the WGA’s major contract points, including a 100% increase in DVD residuals, from four cents on every $15 DVD to eight cents.
“One of the boundaries that must be observed in reaching any agreement is the clear line of demarcation drawn by the Producers on October 16th in conjunction with their withdrawal of the recoupment proposal: we will not accept increases in the DVD residual formula, in residual payments due for programs run on the CW or MyNetwork TV, or in residual payments for programs made for the pay television market,” Lombardini said.
The WGA has also resisted what it characterized as rollbacks the AMPTP proposed during negotiations over writer credits and new media representation.
The WGA characterized the new proposal as only providing illusory concessions.
“Minor adjustments to major rollbacks do not constitute forward motion,” WGA negotiating committee chairman John Bowman said in a statement. “To make a deal, the AMPTP must engage with us on the issues that matter in this negotiation.”
A WGA strike authorization vote by members on Oct. 19 resulted in show of support for the union’s leadership, with 90 percent of votes in favor of a strike.
(Editor: Baumann)

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