The guild that represents thousands of screenwriters in television and film are heading back to the drawing board with studios and their executives starting today for negotiations.
Striking for over 100 days now, the double joint with SAG-AFTRA and this labor summer with many unions demanding fair wages and safe work conditions as some examples, the possibility of reaching to the finish line is not the end of this working class battle.
"Our committee returns to the bargaining table ready to make a fair deal, knowing the unified WGA membership stands behind us and buoyed by the ongoing support of our union allies," The Writers Guild told its members.
With WGA's last strike occurring in 2007-2008 that basically put Hollywood on shut down like today, this time there is more determination to meet the needs and requirements for the unions that will impact the entertainment industry for future writers and actors.
This is the first time since 1960 that the two unions have been on strike at the same time. Delays for shows and movies include late-night shows going into reruns and the incoming award season rescheduled of the Emmys now airing next January.
Reality television has also been getting the hit on the strike as it was once almost neutral with not needing screenwriters on set, and the actors getting paid tremendously more than other genres.
Both unions have been in contact with reality performers in order for them to reach out in order for them all to work together and receive the protections they need long-term as exploitative practices continue in every aspect of the industry, including reality television.
As there is no stop to unions working and supporting each other in picketing during this hot summer season, Marvel Studios Visual Effects Workers have filed for the first VFX Union.
Visual Effects (VFX) workers have ensured that a union election will occur with the National Labor Relations Board. If they are successful, VFX Union will be the first visual effects professional to unionize.
There has been great encouragement for video game professionals as well as animators to unionize and join in solidarity for a better culture of what it means to work for your passion or just simply not be in a state of exploitation from employers.
When back at the negotiating table, the studios had made a counterproposal, one that would help the strike come to an end.
“Our committee returns to the bargaining table ready to make a fair deal, knowing the unified WGA membership stands behind us and buoyed by the ongoing support of our union allies,” the guild said of the invitation. “We expect the AMPTP to provide responses to WGA proposals.”
It would still take 4 days for the strike to end, as the requirement of the contract's approval by the governing bodies of the WGA West and WGA East and then ratification by their memberships. Nothing has been updated on this yet however.
Interim agreements have been in the talks though.
According to MSN, SAG-AFTRA has made a decision to issue several “interim agreements” with independent film and television productions that aren't in association with any AMPTP studios.
For the union, it was a controversial step to take, with actors such as Sarah Silverman criticizing the choice in defense that it takes away the importance of the strike.
Soon after the uproar, SAG-AFTRA had put out a statement explaining that “interim agreements are actually a key part of its strike strategy, both because it will encourage independent productions – which will film either way – to keep using union labor and because productions have to agree to the union's terms in order to get an interim agreement – which will, in theory, prove to the AMPTP that the union's terms should be perfectly acceptable.”
However on Monday, the union has announced they will not approve interim agreements for independent projects under WGA contracts and are made in the U.S. According to Variety Magazine, “The union has already given permission for 207 independent projects to continue to film during the strike, including ones with stars like Jason Bateman, Anne Hathaway and Matthew McConaughey.”
These 207 current projects however are still able to be in production, just not future ones.
“We have been advised by the WGA that this modification will assist them in executing their strike strategy, and we believe it does not undermine the utility and effectiveness of ours,” the guild announced Monday. “It is a win-win change.”