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  • Writer's pictureKalenah Arif

Tentative Agreement Reached To End Writers Strike

Updated: Oct 4, 2023

According to a press release shared on Sunday, September 24th by the Writers Guild of America, the group has reached a tentative agreement with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers to bring a halt to its strike. The strike has been going on for about five months. The final framework of the deal addressed their deadlock over AI and writing room staffing levels. Details of the WGA’s tentative agreement haven’t been made known, but are expected soon.

More votes by the WGA negotiating committee are tentatively scheduled for Tuesday, the guild said. Another vote by the respective board and council could end the ”restraining order” and allow scribes to “return to work during the ratification vote". WGA told its members that all picketing is hereby suspended. Virtual discussions between the WGA and the AMPTP covered fine-tuning issues like AI, back-to-work schedules, and protocols. According to Deadline, the guild had made the request that their members not return to work until SAG-AFTRA also had a new agreement with the AMPTP, reflective of the WGA’s feeling of solidarity between the two unions that has characterized their first mutual strike since 1960. Comedy shows and daytime talk shows should be able to return to air soon since they were not included in the SAG-AFTRA’s strike-as-struck productions. Films and scripted TV shows that didn’t sign Interim Agreements with SAG-AFTRA will have to wait for the strike to end with a suitable deal. The focus now will turn to the signing of the WGA deal and getting SAG-AFTRA and the AMPTP back to the bargaining table to work out a deal for the actors. Here’s the WGA’s message to members: DEAR MEMBERS, We have reached a tentative agreement on a new 2023 MBA, which is to say an agreement in principle on all deal points, subject to drafting 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. It is the leverage generated by your strike, in concert with the extraordinary support of our union siblings, that finally brought the companies back to the table to make a deal. We can say, with great pride, that this deal is exceptional – with meaningful gains and protections for writers in every sector of the membership. What remains now is for our staff to make sure everything we have agreed to is codified in final contract language. And though we are eager to share the details of what has been achieved with you, we cannot do that until the last “i” is dotted. To do so would complicate our ability to finish the job. So, as you have been patient with us before, we ask you to be patient again – one last time. Once the Memorandum of Agreement with the AMPTP is complete, the Negotiating Committee will vote on whether to recommend the agreement and send it on to the WGAW Board and WGAE Council for approval. The Board and Council will then vote on whether to authorize a contract ratification vote by the membership. If that authorization is approved, the Board and Council would also vote on whether to lift the restraining order and end the strike at a certain date and time (to be determined) pending ratification. This would allow writers to return to work during the ratification vote, but would not affect the membership’s right to make a final determination on contract approval. Immediately after those leadership votes, which are tentatively scheduled for Tuesday if the language is settled, we will provide a comprehensive summary of the deal points and the Memorandum of Agreement. We will also convene meetings where members will have the opportunity to learn more about and assess the deal before voting on ratification. To be clear, no one is to return to work until specifically authorized to by the Guild. We are still on strike until then. But we are, as of today, suspending WGA picketing. Instead, if you are able, we encourage you to join the SAG-AFTRA picket lines this week. Finally, we appreciated your patience as you waited for news from us — and had to fend off rumors — during the last few days of the negotiation. Please wait for further information from the Guild. We will have more to share with you in the coming days, as we finalize the contract language and go through our unions’ processes. As always, thank you for your support. You will hear from us again very soon. In solidarity, WGA Negotiating Committee

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