1/21/2008

Informal Talks To Begin This Week

This was sent in an email to strike captains:
Informal talks between WGA negotiators and reps for the other side will commence this week. WGA leadership has been studying the Executive Summary of the DGA's Temporary Agreement to determine which parts of their deal might form a framework for our own negotiations with the Companies. While nothing formal has been proposed, and the DGA's full agreement has not yet been released, the willingness of the other side to meet with us is a sign of movement.

WGA leadership remains committed to getting the best deal possible in this contract negotiation, and will issue a formal statement regarding progress as soon as possible.

23 comments:

Geo Rule said...

I'm sure it's been a hectic few days, and ghu knows the pressure from all directions has been intense to "go along". Nevertheless, now is no time to go wobbly, in the famous words of the Iron Lady. "The best deal possible" is not the benchmark. "A fair deal" is.

Eyes on the Prize, my friends. Eyes on the Prize.

Gary Watts said...

This is only a good deal if this was a fairy tale

This is not a good deal and this is not a fairy tale, this is life, and life is unfair just like this deal. You are probably asking yourself how do I know it’s not a good deal?

“Know you enemy”.

We have not even began to negotiate we have only brought them to the table again, where a sub-standard contract will be offered by the AMPTP. Keep your eyes on the long-term issues.

I say this not as a WGA member, cause I’m not, I wish… I was. I say this not as a SAG Guild Member and a member of another union that I am to ashamed to mention, But a person who walks almost every day on the line besides my union brothers and sisters and who will continue to do so until the WGA and it’s membership get a GOOD Deal.

During this whole strike YOU…. the WGA Guild membership has taught the entire labor movement what a union struggle is all about, and it is about, garnishing the best possible deal for your membership. This has only been possible with good membership and good leadership with the conviction that write is right.

We must stand true to the value of unionism and conviction an injury to one is an injury to all


I’m there with you and will continue to do so as long as it takes.

~Gary Watts~

Caitlin said...

Good, good. One step at a time. Don't cave to a deal that isn't worthy of you, but also be willing to negotatie fairly. And yes, I know, you never left the table. I just mean the AMPTP smackdown is great for the picket lines, but should be held at bay in negotiations. Good luck. If they screw us over this time, they'll be hanging themselves. I think they know that. Let's use the fact to our advantage.

Gary Watts said...

This is only a good deal if this was a fairy tale

This is not a good deal and this is not a fairy tale, this is life, and life is unfair just like this deal. You are probably asking yourself how do I know it’s not a good deal?

“Know you enemy”.

We have not even began to negotiate we have only brought them to the table again, where a sub-standard contract will be offered by the AMPTP. Keep your eyes on the long-term issues.

I say this not as a WGA member, cause I’m not, I wish… I was. I say this not as a SAG Guild Member and a member of another union that I am to ashamed to mention, But a person who walks almost every day on the line besides my union brothers and sisters and who will continue to do so until the WGA and it’s membership get a GOOD Deal.

During this whole strike YOU…. the WGA Guild membership has taught the entire labor movement what a union struggle is all about, and it is about, garnishing the best possible deal for your membership. This has only been possible with good membership and good leadership with the conviction that write is right.

We must stand true to the value of unionism and the conviction, an injury to one is an injury to all.


I’m there with you and will continue to do so as long as it takes.

~Gary Watts~

Erik said...

Residual cap is a deal-killer for me. I won't vote to approve any contract that says they can pay us a flat 1200 bucks for limitless downloads.

Just saying...

BTL Guy said...

Geo Rule,

Just semantics here, but "the best deal possible" should always be the goal of a good negotiation.

And don't forget that the two are not mutually exclusive.

In fact, "the best deal possible" may very well be even better than just "a fair deal."

------

Good luck to both sets of negotiators. Settle your differences. Settle the dispute.

Let's get back to work.

MrKlaatu said...

Agree. There can be no cap on streaming residuals. A percentage of distributor's gross protects both partes. There is no valid reason not to agree to it.

Bill said...

Great news! Now lets not poison the process with second guessing the leaders and attacking any compromises that may have to be made to achieve a deal - if you really trust them let them work.

BTL 399

Lost in Flyover said...

I hope the WGA begins negotiations from its original position, not from the DGA deal.

The AMPTP has already capitulated on a couple of "impossible" demands, so there is already movement toward those goals.

Also, capitulating on previously stated impossible demands suggests to me that the congloms are losing patience with Nick Counter, and he's under more pressure than ever to settle this. 2.5% of nothing is less than $1200, so let's have them sign that with a sunset clause instead of the other way around.

The Pop View said...

I'm a little miffed over Patrick Goldstein's column in yesterday's Times. Am I overreacting?

"Do the right thing, WGA," the headline reads, setting the tone that the WGA holds the power and it's the Guild that has to make the right choices. Somehow, the DGA deal shows that Patric Verrone screwed up.

But anyone who's been reading this blog and Nikki Finke's has known for some time that exactly this scenario would unfold; the AMPTP would pretend to bargain and then walk away, they'd cut a deal with the DGA and then force the WGA (and SAG) to take that deal.

Goldstein seems to acknowledge that Verrone and the Guild are in a difficult position. But it's this quote that galls me: "You should go back to the table and make the studios pledge not to leave..." Oh, yeah. Sure. Just do that. Just sit at the table and make the studios promise to negotiate. Duh! Why didn't I think of that?

We'll just make them... Huh. How will we do that again?

jimmy said...

Why on earth hasn't the full DGA deal been released? How could they come to a tentative agreement without having done the details?

sara said...

I hope the WGA holds firm to the leverage of the Oscars and refuses to grant a waiver. There will be a lot of gnashing of teeth at the AMPTP if that show goes the way of the Golden Globes. There are many nominees and other stars who won't cross a picket line, so the WGA shouldn't give up that leverage as a gesture of good will or to 'make friends' at any level.

hotline said...

The LA Times is not a real newspaper. It's a mega-conglomerate newsletter.

MrKlaatu said...

Jimmy -

My guess: Because they don't want people to discover there's a favored nations clause, proving that they know their deal isn't good enough.

hotline said...

Oh, and by the way, HOW DARE Patrick Goldstein speak to a handful of writers and then speak for all of us.

And by the way, Patrick G., I am tired and cranky, but not because of the strike or my leadership, but because of "journalists" like you who say things to our union like, "you should go back to the table." I know you don't want to print this about the guys paying you, but your bosses are the ones who walked away. Our negotiators have been at the table since July.

Patric and the rest of our leadership have behaved like class acts. And to suggest they do anything but stay silent after the DGA announced they had a deal, is preposterous of you. Because no matter what they said it would have been taken out of context by the AMPTP - "See they're crazy" and blasted by guys just like you. So they stay silent and STILL they're criticized. THEY DID THE RIGHT THING.

Patrick G., since you're so eager to give out advice, here's some for you - call Patric Verrone and apologize. Apologize for dumping another truckload of crap at his feet at this moment in time because really that was rather grotesque of you. To write a column suggesting that Patric hasn't been "doing the right thing" absolutely grotesque. Or are you they type of guy who never misses and opportunity to miss an opportunity?

Geo Rule said...

BTL guy--

Possibly "the best deal possible" is even better for writers than "a fair deal", but I still like my formulation better. "best deal possible" when it isn't "a fair deal" is either "writers get screwed" or "writers put on their AMPTP masks and screw the other side".

Since I think one of the great strengths of the WGA (and the other guilds, for that matter) is the reality and perception that they are the reasonable party in this dispute asking for no more than what is fair, I don't like "best deal possible". YMMV.

Bill said...

hotline said...
"The LA Times is not a real newspaper. It's a mega-conglomerate newsletter."


Oh suprise another conspiracy against the writers. Everyone who has a different opinion or even a hopeful one is smashed on the rocks by the mob.

Just like UH and DHD are not real discussion areas. They are heavily moderated one sided opinion places with the sole intention of
promoting a suicidal hardine stance in the strike.

Hit me with your monitor stick moderator, I'm just a another BTL collateral casualty - one your acceptable losses in your war.

BTL 399
Angry? You have no idea how angry.

stuiec said...

the pop view: "'Do the right thing, WGA,' the headline reads"

It looks like the headline refers to Goldstein's plea on behalf of the recording artists as a charitable cause somewhat akin to the NAACP, therefore deserving of the same type of waiver for the Grammys as the NAACP got for the Image Awards.

smart said...

This morning the L.A. news shows talked about writers starting informal talks with the amptp. Their big question was.....will this strike be OVER in time for the ocsars..... NOT, WILL THIS STRIKE BE OVER SO ALL THE THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE WHO ARE UNEMPLOYED WILL BE ABLE TO GO BACK TO WORK.
The news idiots were talking to gil cates, who said the oscars would go on. News idiots then showed a clip of Patric Verrone saying " if the WGA is still on strike, there would be no waiver for the oscars", then the news idiots showed gil gates response, "how can the WGA make a comment, when THEY HAVEN'T BEEN INVITED TO THE PARTY". (paraphrase). As a btl, I want the WGA to end up with a contract, that makes this strike worth the hardship. I want gil cates "pretty party" to tank....I want the writers and every other unemployed union person to picket the oscars, BECAUSE IF ALL OF US ARE OUT OF WORK, YOU STUDIO GREED MACHINES...DON'T GET TO HAVE YOUR PARTY!!!!!!!!!! LOL to everyone who's hurting, sorry I'm so angry, I'm just having a bad moment. WGA, I support you, make us proud.

Geo Rule said...

Just looking at Variety's last few articles something occurred to me. . . Isn't it INTERESTING that a certain name is suddenly missing from all coverage of the strike and negotiations? That these "informal" negotiations appear to have been structured so that "a certain someone" would not be in the room?

Of course, it could be that J. Nicholas Counter III always vacations in Hawaii in January and February and couldn't be bothered. But perhaps it wasn't coincidental.

At least all the coverage I've seen suddenly has him missing. . .anyone seen different?

Not An said...

Let me begin by making one thing clear to any who post concening my post - I am not saying the Grammys or the Oscars are important in an artistic way to anyone in the middle of the country, got it? I am only asking that we take a little time to look at the PR side of quashing them - that is all I am saying - I repeat, I do not think anyone in fandom will die if the Grammys and the AAs aren't televised - so now having said what I am not saying, here is what I am saying -

Having a bunch of noisy pickets who most people watching won't recognize yelling while big music stars that they do recognize go into the awards will not do much for the WGA's cause; similarly, if the AAs get cancelled you can bet your bottom dollar - and in this case it would be my bottom dollar - that the blame in the press - rightly or wrongly - will fall on the WGA. The majority of the public doesn't understand whether the DGA deal is good for the WGA they only understand that the DGA at down and got a deal in six days.

It seems that we have an inordinate number of wartime slogans, Know your enemy, hell, I can't remember the other ones, Grab your crotch, grunt like a caveman - so I'll add another - Know your fanbase - it doesn't rcok but it is true. Yeah, there are a few fans who post here full of support but the vast majority of TV viewers and moviegoers don't give a flip about the issues involved.

We would be far better off to negotiate for a few minutes to state the WGA's case and inform the public rather than trying to disrupt or cancel the shows.

And, as much as he has been a big supporter, I'm not talking about having views presented by Sean Penn - for many - again rightly or wrongly - he is the face of liberal Hollywood and as soon as he or someone like him appears many ears go deaf. Choose someone who has a sense of humor and no baggage to present a well thought out, engaging, short presentation of the WGA's righteous stand.

Okay - have a good day - respect to all.

hotline said...

Hey Bill -

When more than 3000 of us shut down Avenue of the Stars and picketed outside Fox, our hometown industry "newspaper" reported it in the way, waaaaaaaay back of their newsletter.

Doesn't get more obvious than that.

just a thought said...

Maybe they told Nick to take an early retirement. He's a dinosaur. BTW tommy short is dying to make the same deal as the DGA. Too bad for the IA