1/11/2008

DGA Announces Formal Negotiations

As Deadline Hollywood reports, the DGA announced today that formal negotiations are commencing with the AMPTP beginning tomorrow (yes, that's Saturday.)

You can see Patric Verrone's comments below; as he states and as he's said many times before, we all hope the DGA makes a deal that will get the town back to work. However, if the deal they make doesn't address the needs of writers, the WGA is not bound by its terms.

The DGA is known for negotiating quickly; it's reasonable to anticipate they will have a deal soon. But what the terms of that deal will be, and whether it will meet our needs, we have no way of knowing.

We can be sure, however, that it will address New Media issues of both Internet jurisdiction and reuse of existing material on the internet. As Michael Apted wrote in his letter to DGA membership:

As I have stated before, we would not enter negotiations with the AMPTP unless we were within shouting distance of an agreement on our two most important issues: jurisdiction for our members to work in new media and appropriate compensation for the reuse of our work on the Internet and other new media platforms.

What kind of terms they'll negotiate remain to be seen. But nowhere in that letter do I see the words "3 year study."

We've been burned before by hoping so fervently for a resolution to the strike that we were blindsided when the AMPTP walked away from the table. Whatever happens with the DGA negotiation, there's one thing we absolutely must do this time -- stay calm and collected, and be ready to examine whatever comes out of these negotiations with a dispassionate eye.

Stay strong, folks.

6 comments:

Jeroen said...

This writers strike really hurts. Even overseas (the Netherlands, where I live) gets the blackout of the shows. I was seriously annoyed that the WGA went on strike... Until I read what it was all about.

Stay on strike as long as it takes! Don't give in and don't give up! It seems to me this compensation is long overdue.

It hurts to watch the shows like the Colbert report and The Daily show now, but it's worth it if the writers get what they deserve.

Greetings from overseas!

Geo Rule said...

Stay strong, people. "Good cop/Bad cop" only works when someone is willing to be "Bad cop".

symmons2 said...

it's amazing. you writers should read and study the playbook of the DGA. Research to support ones needs, professional and respected, speak their language etc.
Your leadership should take note or you guys should elect new ones.

Harold said...

"You can see Patric Verrone's comments below; as he states and as he's said many times before, we all hope the DGA makes a deal that will get the town back to work. However, if the deal they make doesn't address the needs of writers, the WGA is not bound by its terms."

If it's said enough, maybe it will come true, but I doubt it. If the DGA folds, the WGA is screwed - UNLESS SAG continues to stand beside it.

One problem is that one of the WGA's arguments to BTL unions is that "our increase in residuals is your increase in residuals." For example, if the WGA gets a residual on new media, it argues BTL unions will as well.

That's true. AMPTP has agreed to negotiate new media residuals with IATSE if any other union gets them.

But the rate that is going to be negotiated is going to be patterned after previous percentages that those unions have received.

The WGA can't pretend that it's going to make a stand against pattern bargaining in this strike when that is one of the arguments that it has been trying to sell to BTL unions.

Yes, the WGA should reject adopting DGA provisions if they're crappy - BUT there is a shitload of pressure that will suggest otherwise. If SAG doesn't hold against a bad DGA deal, the WGA is screwed.

JimBob said...

Let us pray that the DGA membership realizes that hanging tough for a fair slice of New Media -- for their members who receive residuals -- will shorten the strike. Michael Apted thinks making a deal -- any deal -- will shorten the strike and he is wrong. If the directors tell the companies they want what the WGA wants, the strike will be over the next day. If the directors take a crappy deal, we're still going to stay out until we get a fair one.

chrislindsay23 said...

Hopeful to see the directors hash out a fair deal. Please try and play ball with comedy central, for this would be a door opening to viacom. If you can begin with a deal from them, I believe that all kinds of doors will open with this company. What about Lion's Gate? What about New Line? If these indies become defacto majors, with rabid investers ready to make money off our business, then you can leave the studios behind, and they will have to rent out their stages to YOU, essentially.
Just a thought
-Chris Lindsay IATSE Local#80 Grip