AMPTP Makes Counterproposal To WGA; Negotiations Recess But Will Resume Next Week

After their first day of bargaining since the Writers Guild went on strike May 2, the AMPTP and the WGA have recessed their negotiations until next week after the companies made a counterproposal to guild’s proposals.

Here is the WGA’s message to members this evening:

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“Your Negotiating Committee received a counterproposal from the AMPTP today. We will evaluate their offer and, after deliberation, go back to them with the WGA’s response next week.” 

“Sometimes more progress can be made in negotiations when they are conducted without a blow-by-blow description of the moves on each side and a subsequent public dissection of the meaning of the moves. That will be our approach, at least for the time being, until there is something of significance to report, or unless management uses the media or industry surrogates to try to influence the narrative.

“The Guild always has the right to communicate with our members and will do so when we think there is news you need to know. In the meantime, please continue to demonstrate your commitment by showing up to the picket lines: for yourselves, your fellow writers, SAG-AFTRA, fellow union members, and all those in our community who are impacted by the strikes.”

Key issues in the 102-day-old strike include pay raises, viewership-based streaming residuals, the “preservation of the writers room” through minimum staffing and guaranteed days of employment, and guardrails against the use of artificial intelligence to write scripts.

Hopes first were raised for an end to the strike back on August 1, when AMPTP President Carol Lombardini invited the guild’s negotiating committee to meet on August 4 to discuss terms for the resumption of bargaining. They quickly were dashed, however, when those talks broke off acrimoniously on the same day they started, with the guild accusing the AMPTP of continuing to play by its same old “tired anti-union playbook.”

The AMPTP responded, saying that “Our only playbook is getting people back to work,” and questioning “whether we have a willing bargaining partner.”

Hopes were raised again Thursday when the WGA announced that Lombardini had reached out to the guild again — this time to actually resume bargaining.

“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.”

When a tentative agreement is eventually reached, it still would take about four days for the strike to officially end, with the contract’s approval by the governing bodies of the WGA West and WGA East and then ratification by their memberships. That’s how long it took to end the WGA’s last two strikes – in 1988 and 2007-08.

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