Thursday night, nearly 3,000 WGA members packed the LA Convention Center. At this meeting, the largest membership meeting in Guild history, writers heard the WGA Negotiating Committee’s report on the status of negotiations. The Negotiating Committee reported that the AMPTP had called a halt to negotiations by demanding we accept the extension of the current DVD formula to new media. They also reported that in three months of negotiations, the AMPTP has not responded in any serious manner to our initial proposals.Update: Obviously there's loads of coverage in the American press - LA Times, New York Times, Hollywood Reporter etc - as well as in the British papers. This is the WGAW's main page for updates on the contract negotiations. There's also a WGAW Strike Captain's blog, United Hollywood.
The Negotiating Committee then announced its unanimous recommendation that the WGAW Board and the WGAE Council call a strike.
Members spent three hours in frank discussion of the Negotiating Committee’s report and recommendation. The membership expressed their anger at the Companies’ refusal to bargain seriously, and voiced their overwhelming support for the Negotiating Committee, Guild leadership, and for the bargaining agenda of the WGA.
The WGAW Board and the WGAE Council will meet Friday to consider the recommendation of the Negotiating Committee and to decide the next steps. The decision of the Board and Council whether and when to strike will be communicated to the membership by e-mail and through the Captains system, and will be posted on the WGAW and WGAE websites.
This article by John Patterson in today's Guardian caught my eye.
It's terrible folly for the moguls to mistake the Writers Guild for wimps, but 19 years [since the last strike] is an eternity in forgetful Hollywood. Even more thoroughly forgotten is the fact that the Writers Guild is the oldest union in Hollywood, that it paved the way for collective bargaining within an anti-union industry head-quartered in a notoriously open-shop city, and that the studios tried to strangle it in its cradle, even packing it with conservative writers in the 1930s, the better to sabotage it from within. The studios were heavily invested in the McCarthy witchhunts, not because of commie-phobia per se, but because it gave them a perfect patriotic cover for more union-busting. And still the WGA stands.
Remember, most of the Hollywood 10 were writers, many of them founders of the WGA. When they went to prison for their political beliefs, and thereafter into exile for decades, people called them lots of nasty names, but no one called them wimps.