WGA will try to negotiate with individual studios
The Writers Guild's negotiating committee has sent a letter to its members saying that on Monday it will demand to negotiate with studios separately. The letter states that the dynamics within the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers have made it "difficult for the conglomerates to reach consensus" and that studio signatories are "required to bargain with us individually" if the WGA demands that.
Here is the story by Richard Verrier and Claudia Eller in The Times' Business section. And here's the full text of the letter:
December 14, 2007Message to the WGA Membership from its Negotiating Committee
As you know, the AMPTP is currently unwilling to bargain with us. The internal dynamics of the AMPTP make it difficult for the conglomerates to reach consensus and negotiate with us on a give and take basis. We believe this multi-employer structure inhibits individual companies from pursuing their self-interest in negotiations. We nonetheless continue to hope that the AMPTP will return in good faith to negotiate a fair contract with writers, as two television seasons and numerous feature projects are currently at great risk.
We want to do everything in our power to move negotiations forward and end this devastating strike. We have therefore decided to reach out to major AMPTP companies and begin to negotiate with them individually. As you may know, bargaining on a multi-employer basis through the AMPTP is an option for the WGA, not a legal requirement. Each signatory employer is required to bargain with us individually if we make a legal demand that it do so.
We will make this demand on Monday December 17th and hope that each company responds promptly, in accordance with the law.
In the meantime, we urge you to support us and our negotiations team and leadership during these difficult times. We look forward to making a fair deal that will resolve this strike, protect our future and put us all back to work, for the good of the industry and all of its employees.
John F. Bowman, Chair
David A. Goodman