Hollywood’s writers and studios have a preliminary labor agreement.
Talks between the Writers Guild of America and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers resumed last week after months of starts and stops, ultimately leading to a tentative deal that would end the ongoing writers strike.
The WGA and AMPTP are still drafting the final contract language.
“What we have won in this contract — most particularly, everything we have gained since May 2nd — is due to the willingness of this membership to exercise its power, to demonstrate its solidarity, to walk side-by-side, to endure the pain and uncertainty of the past 146 days,” the WGA negotiation committee wrote in a letter to members Sunday night. The leverage created by your strike in conjunction with the extraordinary support from our union sisters, finally brought the companies to the table for a deal. “
Striking members of the Writers Guild of America and supporters march toward the La Brea Tar Pits in Los Angeles, June 21, 2023.
Irfan Khan | Los Angeles Times | Getty Images
Hollywood scribes initiated a work stoppage in early May as negotiations broke down with studios including Disney, Paramount, Universal and Warner Bros. Discovery. The WGA didn’t disclose which provisions made it into the final contract. However, they did tell union members that the deal was “exceptional” and included significant gains for writers from all sectors of membership. The WGA and AMPTP will agree on the contract language. After that, the negotiating team will vote to approve the agreement. It then goes to the Writers Guild of America East Council and Writers Guild of America West Board for approval. Then, the board and council will vote on whether to authorize a contract ratification vote by membership.
WGA leadership noted that the strike is not over and no members of the guild are to return to work until the agreement is officially ratified. Members were encouraged to continue standing in solidarity with striking actors on the picket lines.
“SAG-AFTRA congratulates the WGA on reaching a tentative agreement with the AMPTP after 146 days of incredible strength, resiliency and solidarity on the picket lines,” the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists wrote in a statement Sunday. While we are looking forward to reviewing the WGA’s and AMPTP’s tentative agreement, our commitment to achieving the terms necessary for our members remains. After negotiating with writers, AMPTP must now turn its attention towards SAG-AFTRA. The acting guild’s members have been on strike since mid-July and are seeking contract updates similar to those requested by the writers.
Hollywood performers are looking to improve wages, working conditions, and health and pension benefits, as well as establish guardrails for the use of AI in future television and film productions. Additionally, the union is seeking more transparency from streaming services about viewership so that residual payments can be made equitable to linear TV.
Disclosure: Comcast is the parent company of NBCUniversal and CNBC. NBCUniversal belongs to the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers.