12/07/2007

WGA Willing to Stay at the Table Day and Night Until We Have a Deal

Patric Verrone and Michael Winship just sent this message to the membership. The WGA is determined to stay at the table until we have a deal. If the AMPTP wants to negotiate in good faith, and end the strike, we are at the table.

Dear Fellow Members,

Before we head into negotiations this morning, we want to give you an update on where we stand.

On Tuesday, after the companies had requested a four-day break so they could work on their proposals, we returned to the bargaining table. We presented a counter proposal to their streaming proposal of November 29. They presented no new proposals. On Wednesday, the AMPTP again had no new proposals, but they did have detailed questions about our streaming counter proposal and other aspects of our overall proposals – and from the give and take of those discussions, we felt that they might finally be ready to engage in serious bargaining. They told us they would have new proposals for us Thursday. On Thursday, we met at 10am, and they told us their new proposals would be ready shortly. At 5pm, they told us their proposals still weren’t ready, that they would be working on them late into the night, and that we should come back this morning at 10am. The fact that we saw everyone from the AMPTP leave the building by 6:45pm is not a promising sign, but we will be at the table at 10am this morning, ready to receive their new proposal.

We’d like to address some of the disturbing rumors and back channel communications we’ve been hearing. For one, we’ve heard that one or more of the companies are prepared to throw away the spring and fall TV season, plus features, and prolong the strike. Aside from the devastating effect this would have on the unions, workers, and their families in this industry, it would certainly explain the AMPTP’s refusal to put any new proposals, even a bad one, on the table. Also, highly placed executives have been telling some of our writers that the companies are preparing to abruptly cut off negotiations. They say the companies plan to accuse the WGA of stalling and being unwilling to negotiate, and that the companies will use that as an excuse to walk out.

The Writers Guilds of America, West and East are going on record now that any such claims are absolutely untrue. We have been at the negotiating table every day, willing to bargain. Furthermore, we hereby challenge the AMPTP to negotiate in good faith, day and night, through the Christmas and New Year’s holidays – whatever is necessary – to get this done and get the town back to work. The Writers Guilds will remain at the table every day, for as long as it takes, to make a fair deal.

Thank you for your patience, support, and solidarity through these difficult times. Please come to the Fremantle rally today. We remain all in this together.

Patric M. Verrone
President
Writers Guild of America, West

Michael Winship
President
Writers Guild of America, East

31 comments:

Bill said...

"Furthermore, we hereby challenge the AMPTP to negotiate in good faith, day and night, through the Christmas and New Year’s holidays – whatever is necessary – to get this done and get the town back to work."

Now THAT is more like it. Better late than never to say it. Now get back in there...

Transpo Bill

Shawn said...

This post by the WGA sounds like a measure to try to keep the AMPTP from walking away from the table...

It seems like the WGA is sensing the AMPTP is losing interest and focus on the issues at hand, hence the challenge to the AMPTP.

Why this is being sent to WGA members is confusing. If the guild wants to challenge the AMPTP to work through the holidays to strike a deal, tell that to the press! Let the entire world know this! Don't just send this sentiment out to members.

From the pessimism that runs under this post, I am not hopeful about having a positive weekend.

Greg said...

Why this is being sent to WGA members is confusing. If the guild wants to challenge the AMPTP to work through the holidays to strike a deal, tell that to the press! Let the entire world know this! Don't just send this sentiment out to members.

Publishing on this blog is a good (if not the best) way to let the entire world know about it, I think.
I wish you the best luck for today,

G.J, France

Jimmy M said...

This is actually kind of brilliant. It makes it very hard for the AMPTP to walk away from the table without shooting itself in the foot.

And if they can't leave the table, they can't start talks with the DGA.

Smart move.

Caitlin said...

I'm with bill. This is what I've been looking for. I do agree it'd be good to tell everyone, though. The public accounts for a lot. Let the AMPTP know it'll have to answer to the world. In the meantime, I'll take some peace in knowing things aren't *as* bad as they seem.

Thomas said...

I am a viewer.

And I support this strike.

Hope a deal can be made soon!

Jake Hollywood said...

Okay, color me confused. How does the AMPTP explain the math of the NEP equalling $230K in average salary.

Reading their response to the WGA letter, it sounds more and more like the AMPTP is just looking for an excuse to walk away from the table (which doesn't exactly surprise me). I don't believe they ever wanted to negotiate in "good faith." Unless "good faith" is a euphemism for "kiss my ass."

azuckerborneveryminute said...

The writers suffer financially from the strike as do many other production employees and businesses in Los Angeles feeling the ripple effect. Practically speaking, the AMPTP companies needs to also feel symmetric economic pressure in order to motivate them to bargain earnestly with the Writers Guild so everyone can get back to work. The more economic pressure the companies feel, the less appealing a protracted strike will be to them. (And the less likely they are to make excuses to stay away from the table.)

It benefits everyone taking a hit financially from the strike (or even frustrated viewers) to throw their weight toward making the companies join in on taking as much of a financial hit as possible. So...

Cut costs by cancelling or suspending your Time Warner Cable. If you don't wish to do that, consider switching to a Time Warner rival.

Don't buy any GE products, not even a lightbulb.

Don't buy a NY POST and don't use myspace (NewsCorp). If you're addicted, try the methadone of the DAILY NEWS and facebook.

Don't buy Disney.

If large numbers of people commit to this, it will expedite a resolution.

How's this B*%tch? said...

"Cut costs by cancelling or suspending your Time Warner Cable. If you don't wish to do that, consider switching to a Time Warner rival.

Don't buy any GE products, not even a lightbulb.

Don't buy a NY POST and don't use myspace (NewsCorp). If you're addicted, try the methadone of the DAILY NEWS and facebook.

Don't buy Disney.

If large numbers of people commit to this, it will expedite a resolution."

I'm ready to do this and to ask my friends to do the same. What else can we do? What about advertisers? How can we pressure them to pressure the companies? I'm willing to do whatever I can to end this strike. I also have a big mouth, so I'm willing to spread the work like a @*&%$#@!%*$%!

Not-A-Troll said...

Give it up people.

First off its really sad that you can no longer post on here anon. What? You are so insecure that people with opposing opinions might actually post? Pathetic.

Secondly anyone who looks at this and thinks for a second it is a positive thing for the WGA is sadly mistaken. This email is rather a sign that Verone is getting scared and trying to set up the writers for a bad deal to come.

If the studios want to walk out they will do just that. Come the 17th if there is no deal in place be ready for both a lot of development deals being thrown out and the DGA to sweep in and make a deal.

Not-A-Troll

Stand By Observer said...

What I would like to know is how much the book value of the parent corporations will decrease once Advertisers start asking for either discounts on their upfront purchases for the 07-08 season or, worse yet, complete cancellations of some of their buys: Is Coke really gonna stand for a bait and switch between Heroes and some reality show (even if Heroes numbers went down, it still won the Demo)? I would venture, if I were an advertiser, that this is a perfect time for a rate rollback and, since we all know this business is really about selling Coke, Wall Street will reevaluate the 'Media' giants, perhaps causing a small drop in stock price adding up to a billion dollar drop in stock price per company. Is this something the shareholders - and CEO's - can withstand, especially when the overall cost to each company to grant respectable residuals is less than 10 million a year? Does Rupert Murdoch really want to save 10 million dollars to lose 1 billion, just on principal? Is this leadership by Dick Parsons or Sumner Redstone? Are they really doing the right thing for their shareholders and stock price? No.

How's this B*%tch? said...

Stand by Observer,

Everything you just said about the stock price...I've wondered the same thing myself.

How's this B*%tch? said...

Our show usually has good ratings. But I remember that not too long ago we had a low rated episode and the word was that we owed advertisers money back because of it. I have to think that they are starting to feel the effects of the loss of new scripted episodes.

How's this B*%tch? said...

Not a Troll said:

"First off its really sad that you can no longer post on here anon. What? You are so insecure that people with opposing opinions might actually post? Pathetic."

I do agree with this. It does look like an attempt at censorship.

"We can never be sure that the opinion we are endeavoring to stifle is a false opinion; and if we were sure, stifling it would be an evil still." ~John Stuart Mill, On Liberty, 1859.

I was pretty pissed at the WGA for a while (timing, exaggerating the POSSIBLE benefits to us of this strike). But I do believe that they are entitled to fair payment and I do believe that the moguls will try to screw us. For me it is a choice between supporting party the writers who are right (even if they are inconsiderate) and supporting the moguls who are totally evil.

azuckerborneveryminute said...

Speaking of advertisers asking for money back without new scripted shows, I wonder if there's also a way to mess with the Super Bowl if the strike hasn't been settled yet.

For example, ask anyone who can live without watching to do so.

Or else, encourage people to have "FOX Trapping" parties where at the start of every commercial break, the TV is turned off for exactly two minutes. Should that internetally become a phenomenon, especially in the 2 biggest markets, NY and LA, it could be a wondeful way to send our love to Mr. Murdoch.

Patty said...

""First off its really sad that you can no longer post on here anon. What? You are so insecure that people with opposing opinions might actually post? Pathetic."

I do agree with this. It does look like an attempt at censorship. "

Clearly, you are able to post negative comments here with the anonymous option gone. What you are no longer able to do is post the same kind of negative comment over and over again in the hope of making one think that more people are against the writers than there actually are.

Here in Topeka said...

The WGA: In favor of free speech and expression for anyone wh agrees with them.

Otherwise, not so much.

Authors of united hollywood.com (in parapharse):

"If you post things we don't like we'll force you to do so in a way that may make it possible for people to harass you about it.

If you're too negative, well then you're obviously a troll and not someone who may actually think we're all too often full of self-righteous shit.

And, of course, if you claim not to be a troll that merely proves you're a troll because that's excatly what a troll WOULD say.!"

Ahhhh, I but hate the stench of a self-perpetuating delusion in the evening.

Jake Hollywood said...

To all those moaning about censorship: say what?!!!

Nobody is stopping you> from commenting and apparently you still are, so where's the censorship? And even if there is censorship, it's not any different than real life - there are limits to free speech (like libel/slander, yelling "fire" in a crowded theater, etc. etc. etc).

Your complaint seems to be the fact that you must go to the terrible "trouble" of registering on blogger in order to make comments - like that actually inhibits you somehow...

Think about this: if you wanted to vote you'd have to register, right? Same deal here.

So, feel free to express yourself. Nobody is stopping you. Only I beg you, pleeeeeeze stay as clever as you've been in the past.

Simply Kimberly said...

I'm just a fan, but it seems to me there would be no studios or AMPTP without our dollars funding their mega million dollar salaries while they take a crap on the people that make the products that they sell to us.

I've been ready to boycott all new media entirely since the strike began. And I may be just one person, but I am not downloading or streaming anything until they cut a fair deal with the WGA.

BTL Guy said...

While I'm not a big fan of killing the anonymous comments, I gotta say claims of censorship are a bit overblown.

As so many posts about video content are quick to point out, one of the greatest things about the internet is that anyone who can access the net can post their views.

By forcing commenters to be members of blogger, UH is actually making it easier to find out more about a particular commenter (or, at least as much as the person wants you to know).

Click on a commenter's name at the top of his or her post and you can go that person's blog to find out more.

Or start your own blog, if you feel your voice isn't being heard. It's free.

How's this B*%tch? said...

"Only I beg you, pleeeeeeze stay as clever as you've been in the past."

Jake is mad!

Anyway, I'm just saying that it doesn't look good. It's up to the administrator to say what the intent was. But, if trolls are being paid to post here, it would not be hard to create multiple blogger accounts.

Crystal said...

I just want to point out to "Not a Troll" that you are using a name that is synonymous with anonymous. Since I sincerely doubt your mother named you, Not a Troll, and that that name appears on your driver's license and birth certificate so that somebody could actually know who you are.

So by making up a name that doesn't exist or track to a real identity, you are anonymous anyway, so what are you crying about? Just because they won't let you get away with posting like you are ten anonymous people without creating ten identities, Not a Troll 1 and Not a Troll 2, etc?

And you need to enroll back in grammar school English class, because you ARE A TROLL if I ever heard of one.

Chuck said...

Those crybabies who think they're being censored because they can't post anon anymore surely must be stooges for the AMPTP. Who else's thinking could be so twisted that they'd call it censorship when you have the ability to freely post comments and stand behind your words by putting your name to them?

What morons. Absolute morons.

How's this B*%tch? said...

From the "Leave you comment" section of this blog..."Avoid personal attacks"

So much for that request!

"this is a place to debate and discuss"

or is it?

Crystal said...

I wasn't personally attacking anyone. Your handle is also the same as anonymous just as much as 'not a troll' is. You weren't born with that name either, were you? It's not on your driver's license either, is it? So my point of DISCUSSION is to say it's silly to cry about not be able to use the word 'anonymous' when you are still being just as anonymous by your made up name.

How's this B*%tch? said...

Uh, Crystal, I was talking to the guy directly above my post. The one calling people morons.

But if you have questions about my username. I will tell you that A) I don't answer to you. I'll call myself "Go fuck yourself Crystal" if I want to and B)The name Crystal does not really identify you now does it. It's not like you are Cher or Bono where everybody knows who you are.

How's this B*%tch? said...

I know I was bad to say that. I'm sorry. But I'm so sick of hearing this crap about usernames. Focus....listen to what people are saying and discuss the issues. It's ridiculous to keep harping on usernames. Let's face it. Most of us are somewhat anonymous here.

Crystal said...

Wow, How's this B*%tch? -- for someone who invoked the rule or suggestion about 'avoiding personal attacks', you obviously had no trouble ignoring the next two words about avoiding unnecessary profanity. What, can you only read so many words? Or do you only read what you want to hear?

And that's about the lamest apology I ever heard...

I don't have any questions about your username, you can call yourself any profane thing you see yourself as. All I was saying was that your username doesn't identify you any more than using anonymous. It's just a another word for anonymous as far as I am concerned.

Frankly, I don't care if people use anonymous or not. I'm usually arguing with people who want to get rid of 'anonymous' that usernames like yours are just as anonymous as anonymous so they may as well leave the anonymous alternative.

But I didn't bring the subject up -- the guy with the euphemistic anonymous did and complained about censorship. And I still think his assertion was silly or paranoid, but not probable.

Except that now, maybe they do have a point, if they can track people like you who use profane language when you can't mount an adequate argument with real language... maybe it's a good thing that they can track you better... to shut you down.

Next time you want to call somebody on not following the rules, try practising what you preach first.

And by the way, you didn't identify you were talking to the guy in front of you. Reading minds is not the same thing as reading the written word here.

Crystal said...

How's this B*%tch? -- I figured that maybe I should make clear to you why your apology doesn't cut it. Just because you are sick of people talking about usernames, how does that give you a right to berate them with profanity? What happened to freedom of speech for everybody... or can we only speak on topics YOU aren't sick of? Your comments were reprehensible and totally unnecessary.

How's this B*%tch? said...

Crystal said:

"so what are you crying about?"

and

"you need to enroll back in grammar school English class, because you ARE A TROLL if I ever heard of one."

and

"What, can you only read so many words?"

and

"that's about the lamest apology I ever heard"

and

"you can't mount an adequate argument with real language"

and

"or can we only speak on topics YOU aren't sick of?"


Gee...are you sure you don't want to argue? Cause it sounds like you do. But, since you say that you don't want to argue then I will help you by not responding to any more of your comments!

Bye, Bye Crystal!

Captain Obvious said...

Now children...