Final Chapter For WGA Strike


The strike by the Writers Guild of America is done.

In New York and Los Angeles, 3,775 members of the union voted. Of those, 92.5% voted to end their walk-out and return to work.

According to a letter sent to the union membership by its leaders, writers who had a job when the union went out on strike on Nov. 5 should plan on returning to work on Wednesday, Feb. 13. Other writers were instructed to call their employers for instructions on when to return to work.

The union still has to vote to ratify the terms of their contract with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers. Letters describing the deal will be sent to writers during the next two weeks with a vote on the pact anticipated by mail and at meetings on Feb. 25, the day after the Academy Awards ceremony.

“We are profoundly aware of the economic loss these 14 weeks have created not only for our members but so many other colleagues who work in the television and motion picture industries. Nonetheless, with the establishment of the WGA jurisdiction over new media and residual formulas based on distributor’s gross revenue (among other gains) we are confident that the results are a significant achievement not only for ourselves but the entire creative community, now and in the future," wrote WGA West president Patric Verrone and WGA East president Michael Winship in a letter sent to guild membership after the vote.

The studio CEOs represented by AMPTP sent out a joint statement calling Tuesday a day of “relief and optimism.”

“We can now all get back to work, with the assurance that we have concluded two groundbreaking labor agreements - with our directors and our writers -- that establish a partnership through which our business can grow and prosper in the new digital age,” read the statement.

“The strike has been extraordinarily difficult for all of us, but the hardest hit of all have been the many thousands of businesses, workers and families that are economically dependent on our industry.   We hope now to focus our collective efforts on what this industry does best - writers, directors, actors, production crews, and entertainment companies working together to deliver great content to our worldwide audiences.” the statement added.

The statement was signed by Peter Chernin, chairman and CEO of the Fox Group; Brad Grey, chairman & CEO, Paramount Pictures Corp.; Robert Iger, president & CEO of The Walt Disney Co.; Michael Lynton, chairman & CEO, Sony Pictures Entertainment; Barry M. Meyer, chairman & CEO, Warner Bros.; Leslie Moonves, president & CEO, CBS Corp.; Harry Sloan, chairman & CEO, MGM; and Jeff Zucker, president & CEO, NBC Universal.