The Writers Guild is congratulating the Directors Guild on achieving a tentative agreement on a new film and TV contract but says its strike will continue unabated and that its own bargaining positions “remain the same” as at the start of the strike on May 2.
“As always, we will see you out on the picket lines this week,” the WGA Negotiating Committee said in a message sent to members this afternoon. Titled “Onward,” the message is the WGA’s first public comment about the DGA’s tentative agreement with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers.
The DGA deal with the AMPTP, which was reached late last night, “achieves major breakthroughs in addressing the international growth of the entertainment industry and makes significant gains across key economic and creative rights while reaffirming the critical role of DGA directors and their teams,” DGA leaders said.
Its provisions include what the DGA is calling “groundbreaking gains in wages and benefits,” a 76% increase in global streaming residuals, language confirming that generative artificial intelligence “cannot replace the duties performed by members,” and the banning of live ammunition on sets in the wake of the accidental shooting death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and the wounding of director Joel Souza in October 2021 on the set of Rust.
“As you have probably heard, the DGA announced they have reached a tentative agreement with the AMPTP,” the WGA Negotiating Committee told members this afternoon. “We congratulate the DGA Negotiating Committee for getting a deal they are recommending to their National Board for approval and presumably will then send to their membership for ratification.
“Out of respect for the DGA’s ratification process and in recognition of not knowing the contract language they have negotiated, we won’t be commenting on their deal points. Our own bargaining positions remain the same as they were on May 1, 2023.
“Last week we sent an email about how the AMPTP divide and conquer strategy won’t work this time. The AMPTP will not be able to negotiate a deal for writers with anyone but us. Today that message and the video about the path to a deal with the WGA is even more timely.”
SAG-AFTRA, meanwhile, is currently conducting a strike authorization vote among its members and will begin contract talks with the AMPTP on Wednesday.,
“We are standing in solidarity with SAG-AFTRA membership as they complete their strike authorization vote, so they can go into their critical negotiation demonstrating the power and the leverage of their unified membership,” the WGA Negotiating Committee said.
During the last writers’ strike back in 2008, the DGA made a deal with the AMPTP on the 73rd day of the work stoppage. The main issue was residuals from what is now known as streaming. A few weeks later, the WGA agreed to similar terms, ending its walkout after 100 days.
This time around, the DGA made its deal on the 33rd day of the WGA strike, but the WGA says the companies’ “divide and conquer” strategy won’t work this time.
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