"As the lawyers work overtime to hammer out the details, scenarios are emerging that could -- underline could -- bring an end to the WGA strike by as early as next week.The LA Times ("Guild board favors deal, with caution") reports that the WGA board is "holding off on giving its blessing [to any deal] until it sees the exact language in the contract." And Nikki Finke ("Strike Status Report") writes,
Insiders are strongly warning that many aspects remain to be ironed out in the contract being drafted between the Writers Guild of America and Alliance of Motion Picture & Television Producers, and that the process could be derailed by even a seemingly small dispute over contract language."
"[T]here are genuine concerns that the negotiating committee and the board may not approve the deal, even though Verrone, Young and Bowman are behind it. (Though the votes do not have to be unanimous.) There are also genuine concerns that the WGA membership may not approve the deal -- like what happened during the 1960 strike."So, yeah. Strike's not over. How can we get there? It all comes down to contract language.
All of the above media accounts are based on off-the-record information. U.H. has collected very reliable info, some shaken loose with the assistance of alcohol, but we will not report it lest we risk even the appearance of breaking the ongoing news blackout. Unlike other media outlets, the security guard at WGA headquarters greets this one as, "Oh, hi. You again."
Until actual contract points are announced in preparation for Saturday's membership meeting, we should not draw any conclusions about where we stand. Clearly, there are leaks going on. But leaks serve the AMPTP more than the writers. It's in the AMPTP's interest to have everyone thinking it's safe to tune out. (On Sunday, my 93-year-old grandfather told me, "So! I hear the strike's over!") If the writers aren't paying attention or maintaining strength, the AMPTP's lawyers will attempt to water down the contract language from whatever the CEOs agreed to in principle.
There's no conspiracy behind this, it's simply the culture of Hollywood business affairs. Lawyers for the conglomerates score points by whittling down deal points. (That’s why I never start working w/o a signed and executed longform contract. -LK.)
The spin the AMPTP hopes to spread is nicely represented in this illustration whipped up by WGA supporter and graphics genius Rubberpoultry during yesterday's U.H. Live broadcast:
After everything that workers in the industry have sacrificed, it would be catastrophic to see a possible conclusion to this strike derailed by a membership that's no longer paying attention or overaggressive factions trying to rush a delicate undertaking. Of the latter possibility, Nikki writes: "[N]ow is the time for everyone to back off. That's right, BACK OFF. And to let the WGA leadership talk to its board and also its membership without outside interference." Allow me to second that. I'd prefer not to be writing a post like this again in six months.
Now's the time to stay strong, show our solidarity and stay focused. So far, so good: Over 1,330 picketers took to the lines Monday. Let's keep it going.