WGA Sends Out Strike Rules To Members As Potential Hollywood Labor Shutdown Looms Next Week

Less than a week before the Writers Guild of America’s latest contract expires, the guild today sent out strike rule to its members in highly anticipated labor action hitting Hollywood on the morning of May 2.

In an email that just went to guild members, Corey Kniss and Ann Burdick of the WGA West and WGA East respectively laid out how things will go if Hollywood scribes put their pens down next week. (See the full strike rules email below)

The boilerplate rules, which the guild adopts following every strike authorization vote, “Spell out members’ obligations during a strike,” according to the message sent out this evening. “Members who violate the rules are subject to discipline under the Constitution. Non-members who break the rules will be prohibited from joining the WGA in the future.” Discipline includes fines, censure, suspension or even expulsion from the guild.

Related Story

DGA Says It Supports WGA In Its Efforts To Achieve A "Fair & Reasonable" Contract

“While our WGA Negotiating Committee continues to bargain with the AMPTP with the goal of reaching a fair deal by the May 1st contract deadline, at the same time, we must plan for a possible strike,” the contract negotiating committee said in a message to members. “The WGAW Board and WGAE Council have therefore adopted Strike Rules, which we are posting today so members have an opportunity to review them before any potential work stoppage begins.”

After overwhelming strike authorization vote earlier this month that delivered a strong mandate to guild leadership, the WGA has continued its talks with studio reps at the AMPTP. While those negotiations could see a last minute deal, a strike looks more likely than any point since 2008, the last time scribes took to the picket lines.

The current WGA contract expires at 11:59 PM on May 1.

Read the full email sent out to WGA members here:

The principle behind the Rules is simple: you (or your agent or other representative acting on your behalf) may not meet or negotiate with a struck company; and you may not provide writing services, sell or option literary material to a struck company.

As explained in detail in the Rules themselves, prohibited conduct includes:

  • Performance of writing services for or delivery of literary material to struck company; and
  • negotiations and discussions regarding present or future writing projects.

There are also certain notice requirements, including:

  • notice to the companies to return writer-owned “spec” literary material; and
  • notice to your agent or other representative to discontinue conducting negotiations on your behalf.

There are Rules related to picket lines and other strike support activity, including:

  • honoring all Guild picket lines;
  • performing assigned strike support duties; and
  • informing the Guild of strikebreaking activity.

Finally, please note these features of the Rules:

  • Covered work
    The Rules prohibit the performance of writing services for a struck company in connection with audiovisual or audio works intended for initial exhibition in any market covered by the MBA, including feature motion pictures, television and new media, as well as the option or sale of literary material for that purpose.
  • Animation
    The Rules apply to all animated series covered by a WGA contract. Writers who wish to perform writing services in connection with fully animated theatrical features and television programs are advised to consult with WGA staff to determine whether such writing is prohibited before performing, or contracting to perform, any writing services. Members should assume that projects combining live action and animation are covered by the Strike Rules.
  • Fiction Podcasts
    The Rules apply to fiction podcasts covered by a WGA contract. Writers who wish to perform writing services for fiction podcasts are advised to consult with WGA staff to determine whether such writing is prohibited before performing, or contracting to perform, any writing services.
  • Hyphenates
    The Rules prohibit hyphenates (members who are employed in dual capacities) from performing any writing services, including the “(a) through (h)” functions. See Rule 12 below.

Representatives of the Guild are available to answer all of your questions regarding these Rules. Please contact us with any inquiries by calling:



The Guild’s disciplinary procedures (Article X of each Guild’s Constitution) not only protect the Guild from conduct harmful to a strike effort, but also protect the due process rights of members charged with violations and include hearing and appeal procedures.

Article X gives the Guild the authority to impose discipline for violations of the Strike Rules by Guild members. Discipline may include, but is not limited to, any or all of the following: expulsion or suspension from Guild membership, imposition of monetary fines, or censure. Discipline imposed is enforceable through the courts.


Guild members and staff, in consultation with the Guild’s Legal Department, will be available during normal working hours at the Guild’s strike headquarters to answer questions and to interpret the application of these Rules to specific circumstances. All writers are encouraged to use this service is they have questions about the Strike Rules. In addition, an FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) document will be posted on the WGA websites.

Must Read Stories

Latest Layoffs Hit ESPN, Unscripted & PR Staffers; Nate Silver Exiting ABC News

Warners Day: ‘Flash’ Trailer, ‘Dune’ & ‘Aquaman’ Sequels, ‘Barbie’, ‘Wonka’, Zaslav & More

Actor, Calypso Singer And Civil Rights Icon Dies At 96: Photo Gallery & Obituary

‘The Lion King’ Takes Throne In ‘Phantom’-less Broadway; Newcomers Strong

Read More About:

Source: Read Full Article