(This just in from the WGA... I've heard similar sentiment from friends and family all over the nation. The temperature I'm reading -- the whole country is fed up with corporate conglomerates caring only about the bottom line, and not about the welfare of their workers.)
Los Angeles – Multiple new polls show Americans overwhelmingly support the members of the Writers Guild of America in their 10-day-old strike against the media corporations. According to Pepperdine University’s Graziadio School of Business Management, a nationwide study shows that a mere four percent of the public favor the conglomerates, while 63 percent side with striking writers. The remaining 33 percent say they are unsure.
Another poll conducted in the Los Angeles metropolitan area by SurveyUSA found that 69 percent of adults familiar with the strike support the writers, while only eight percent take the studios’ side. Twenty-two percent said they had no opinion.
“Public sentiment plus the economic disruption that the strike has caused can serve as powerful leverage and bodes well for writers in ongoing negotiations,” said David Smith, a labor economist at Pepperdine.
Patric M. Verrone, president of the Writers Guild of America, West, heralded the results: “We’re gratified by this tremendous show of nationwide support. These polls prove that the public understands what is at stake here. Our fight represents the fight of all American workers for a fair deal.”
Prof. Edward Lawler, a labor relations expert at the University of Southern California’s Marshall School of Business, said the poll supports the idea that new technology is a challenge to all workers. “The WGA is a workforce grappling with 21st century issues in an industry, unlike America’s autoworkers, that is not in trouble.”
The Pepperdine poll also revealed that when asked about the prospect of reruns replacing new shows because of the strike, 42 percent said they would read more.
Jon Lafayette, a writer for TVWeek, sees trouble ahead for the networks: “They’re wondering if viewers who leave network TV because their favorite programs are unavailable due to the strike will come back when a settlement is reached.”
Steve Lanzano, the COO for advertising agency MPG, agrees in an article in TVWeek: “If the networks don’t stop the erosion, or if they hesitate in providing make-goods, advertisers will find other ways of reaching people. The networks could significantly and permanently hurt their business.”
On hearing about the survey results, WGA member Mark Israel said from the picket line: “People are bringing us homemade tuna sandwiches one day, egg salad sandwiches the next, because they understand this is really a matter of survival. When cars pass by, we’re getting thousands of honks of support. I can’t express how much it means to us, spending so many hours walking in circles, beneath the tinted windows of businesses that won’t deal with us fairly, to receive this kind of support from the public.”
The Writers Guild of America, West (WGAW) represents writers in the motion picture, broadcast, cable, and new media industries in both entertainment and news. For more information, please visit: www.wga.org.