March 1, 2024

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WGA pickup lines won’t go up immediately if there’s a strike – Deadline

WGA pickup lines won’t go up immediately if there’s a strike – Deadline

Exclusive: While the Writers Guild of America will continue to negotiate with studios until the current call expires on May 1, preparations for the strike are underway — but Hollywood may not be seeing picket lines as quickly as you think.

In fact, the WGA probably won’t have the first street picket lines “until Tuesday afternoon,” sources tell me. In addition, the union leadership plans to hold a large meeting on May 3 at the Shrine Auditorium that can accommodate more than 6,000 people to explain to the members why they agree or not with AMPTP.

With the tense atmosphere now engulfing the city, explaining when the WGA picket started later than expected is actually more bureaucratic than dramatic.

Like any large organization, the WGA has procedures. And part of the procedure in the event of a strike is that the WGA West Council and the WGA East Council must formally agree to said strike procedure, if that is the case. This approval and the activation that will follow may take a few hours, and then picket time begins on May 2nd.

The Clerks are technically on strike at 12:01 a.m. on May 2 if a deal is not struck with AMPTP for a new three-year contract. With the strike vote mandated at nearly 98% earlier this month and banners already in print, the WGA leadership is ready to hit the action-action button at any time if they wish.

The weekend of “deeply engaged” talks, as one insider puts it, ended today. With a view to resuming tomorrow, the WGA Negotiation Committee led by Ellen Stutzman and studio representatives led by Carol Lombardini expect bargaining late Monday night as the contract expiration date approaches.

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It comes as the WGA sent out a questionnaire to members on Sunday asking where they would like to picket in the event of a strike.

As the WGA Negotiating Committee continues to negotiate with AMPTP with the goal of reaching a fair deal by May 1 tomorrowstreet The union said today in a note accompanying its member selection questionnaire about when and where they will be able to walk strike lines. The greatest leverage we collectively gain from striking is the withdrawal of our action. The sit-down is a key tactic to prove we’re all in this together, and that until the strike is resolved, it’s not business as usual.”

“The strike is a dynamic situation,” the group told members in the email with a link to the survey. “Therefore, strike locations and shifts may be subject to change. If we start a strike, WGA leaders will be trained to lead the strike, and WGA staff will be on site to support the actions.” In this context, the multiple choice poll asks questions to WGA members such as: In the event of a strike, would you picket in the Los Angeles area? “

Due to lower residuals, lack of streaming data information, job insecurity and more, writers generally bring in less money despite a boom in content in the last year from more shows and more platforms. Disagreements, even if they have widely divergent approaches yet on how to solve the problem.

Long before streamers like Netflix, Prime Video and AppleTV+ were the dominant players they are now, the last WGA strike in 2007-2008 lasted 100 days, with the effects the industry is still grappling with in 2023.

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If there is a strike starting on May 2nd, the nightly screenings will close immediately as will writers rooms and any big screen or small screen project still adjusting or grinding scripts. Add to this, unions and other unions such as the DGA, IATSE and Teamsters can refuse to cross permitted picket lines. A reaction in this age of renewed union solidarity that could prove to be a great solution on and off the streets.

David Robb contributed to this report.