The following is an excerpt of a letter I received from Jay Kogan just prior to the holidays. Three weeks later everything he wrote has either come to pass or still holds true. To read the letter in its entirety click here. And be sure to check out the video Jay shot called, "As Long As It Takes."
The strike, which could have been avoided if the producers wanted to actually negotiate, has potential to drag on for who knows how long. Some WGA members think it's time to cut our losses -- simply give into the AMPTP ultimatum and drop many of our demands to the absolute minimum. They want this strike to end, and they see that as a way to end it.
Well, I want the strike to end, too, but I don't think we should listen to their provocation and here's why we shouldn't listen to the AMPTP right now:
1. They aren't really ready to negotiate. They do everything but. They take ads. They threaten us. They accuse us. They pretend they're ready to talk and instead present ultimatums that we give up our reasonable demands without getting anything in return.
It's a tactic. A trick, to get us to reveal our bottom line so they can negotiate down from the lowest we thought we'd take. According to anyone on our negotiating committee and most observers, including mediators, agents, SAG and the WGA negotiators, the AMPTP hasn't once attempted to seriously bargain with us since we asked them to sit down with us in April and they said they'd sit down with us in July or 2007.
2. The last time they made an ultimatum, they lied. At the end of October, a CEO of one of the big companies called the WGA and told us flatly that if we dropped the DVD increase, just took it off the table, the AMPTP would deliver us a reasonable deal on internet. The ENTIRE NEGOTIATING COMMITTEE weighed this idea -- many of them stood to gain a lot of money with a better DVD formula but for the sake of avoiding the strike, the committee agreed to drop the DVD demand. But, as we now know, it was a trick. They walked out on negotiations and forced the strike. To this day the AMPTP hasn't offered us anything for dropping the DVD. There has never been any bargaining.
3. Our demands are reasonable and important to the future health of the WGA. All the stuff we're asking for is important and would be great for the health of the guild...
So why aren't they ready to deal?
To find out why read the rest of Jay's letter.
Posted by Jeffrey Berman at 1/05/2008 07:59:00 PM