WGA East and West authorize strike vote


It could be 2007 all over again. The Writers Guild East and West (WGA) announced that its members will take part in a strike authorization vote between April 11 and April 17.

The WGA is pushing for an increase in pay and residuals. So far, officials with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMTPT), which represents the studios, haven’t commented on Monday’s development. 

If Guild members vote “yes,” it grants the WGA the authority to strike once its current contract with the studios ends on May 1. While it does not mean a walkout is imminent, if it does happen the industry could find itself crippled from Hollywood to Chicago to Atlanta to New York and more.

“The studios need to respond to the crisis writers face. WGA members must demonstrate our willingness to fight for the contract writers need and deserve by supporting a strike authorization vote,” the union tweeted on April 3. 


“Over the past decade, the companies embraced business practices that slashed our compensation and undermined our working conditions,” the Guild tweeted. “We are asking to restore writer pay & conditions to reflect our value to this industry. The survival of our profession is at stake.”

Negotiations with the AMPTP began on March 20, and WGA representatives told the Los Angeles Times that the Alliance hasn’t ba a realistic offer to the table just yet. The Guild believes a potential strike is a way to show solidarity between writers, as well as a show of power for the union.

WGA members have gone on strike six times: in 1960, 1973, 1981, 1985, 1988, and, most recently, in 2007

The 2007 walkout was based on issues around streaming media compensation and DVD residuals, among other things. The economic impact of the strike was huge. Beyond the writers who were withholding their labor to fight for better working conditions and compensation, studios with halted projects ended up firing production workers, too.

Online voting will start Tuesday, April 11 at 8:30 pm PT/ET and end Monday, April 17 at 12:00 pm PT/ET, two weeks prior to MBA contract expiration at midnight on Monday, May 1.

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