As WGA Contract Talks Begin, Union Tells Members What To Expect In Coming Weeks

With its contract talks with the AMPTP set to start this morning, the WGA is telling its members in a new video what to expect in the coming weeks amid an expected media blackout on the negotiations.

“During these first two weeks, your Negotiating Committee and guild staff will be meeting with the companies’ representatives at the AMPTP headquarters in Sherman Oaks,” Kay Cannon, a member of the guild’s Negotiating Committee, tells members in the video. “We will be focused on presenting our proposals to the studios, and you won’t be hearing from us there’s something of consequence to report.

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“There may be rumors or leaks to the press about what is going on in that room. Take these with a grain of salt,” she adds. “They are likely coming from the studios and are intended to scare or distract you, and to undermine our strength at the table. We know it might be frustrating to not know exactly what’s happening in that room when so much is at stake, but we’re just getting started and we will not take any collective action without your input and approval.

“At the end of these two weeks, around the beginning of April, we will be coming back to you with a report on the status of negotiations, and on what next steps we believe are necessary before our contract expiration date on May 1,” Cannon says. “Until then, we ask for your patience and thank you for trusting us to fight for all of us.”

See the video here.

In an accompanying message, the guild’s Negotiating Committee said that “the studios are spending billions of dollars to produce the content we create and are reaping tens of billions in profits. Those profits come at the expense of writers, who are not keeping up. That must change now. Our goal is a contract that allows writers to maintain sustainable careers and be fairly compensated for the work we do. Our proposals are reasonable and we hope the studios will take them seriously. You will not hear much from us during these early weeks of negotiations, but we will be in touch as soon as we have significant updates.”

RELATED: Studios Say Goal Is Keeping “Production Active” As Talks Between WGA & AMPTP Begin

On Sunday, the Alliance of Motion Picture & Television Producers issued a statement, saying: “The AMPTP companies approach this negotiation and the ones to follow with the long-term health and stability of the industry as our priority. We are all partners in charting the future of our business together and fully committed to reaching a mutually beneficial deal with each of our bargaining partners. The goal is to keep production active so that all of us can continue working and continue to deliver to consumers the best entertainment product available in the world.”

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