The WGA & AMPTP reached a tentative agreement, the strike might end this week

The WGA was the first Hollywood union to go on strike this year. They set off a chain-reaction which led to the still on-going SAG-AFTRA strike and the larger “hot labor summer” of workers’ rights and strikes across the board. Incidentally, the DGA – the directors’ union – made their deal with AMPTP before the WGA went on strike, and there’s been some conversation about how the DGA likely got screwed in their deal simply because they didn’t have the appetite to go on strike. There was also a lot of conversation about AMPTP’s desire to draw out the SAG and WGA strikes until union members lost their houses and were broke and starving. Well, a tentative deal has been reached between WGA and AMPTP.

Hollywood heaves a sigh of relief. The WGA and major studios and streamers have reached a tentative agreement on a new three-year contract that promises to end the 146-day strike that has taken a heavy toll across the content industry.

Negotiators for the Writers Guild of America and Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers reached the finish line Sunday after five consecutive days of negotiations. Day 4 on Saturday mostly involved lawyers for the guild and AMPTP hashing out the fine print of language around complicated and groundbreaking additions to the WGA’s Minimum Basic Agreement. The nitty-gritty details of language around the use of generative AI in content production was one of the last items that the sides worked on before closing the pact.

The strike itself will still be in force through the guild’s contract approval and ratification process. But picketing has been suspended as of Sunday night. Guild leaders are expected to vote on Tuesday on whether to formally lift the strike order against AMPTP signatories.

“To be clear, no one is to return to work until specifically authorized to by the Guild. We are still on strike until then,” the message to members stated.

Details of the contract agreement won’t be released until the final language is completed over the coming days. WGA leadership expects to vote on Tuesday on the final pact. First the negotiating committee will vote on whether to recommend that the deal go to a vote of the board of the WGA West and council of WGA East. Assuming both of those votes approve the pact, the contract will be sent out for ratification by WGA’s 11,000 members.

“Though we are eager to share the details of what has been achieved with you, we cannot do that until the last ‘i’ is dotted,” the message to members stated. “To do so would complicate our ability to finish the job. So, as you have been patient with us before, we ask you to be patient again – one last time.”

[From Variety]

WGA and SAG-AFTRA did a good job of highlighting what they wanted and how little it would cost for AMPTP to give in to their demands. So much so that I’m worried that an agreement which the WGA considers good or beneficial is actually much less than they should be getting. Still, the strike worked, and it does feel like the AMPTP came to the table (this time) in good faith and ready to make a deal. Let’s see the terms, if and when the WGA approves the deal.

Photos courtesy of Backgrid, Cover Images.

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