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L.A. writers convene at the Shrine

February 9, 2008 |  8:32 pm


About 3,500 members of the Writers Guild of America are gathered at the Shrine Auditorium to discuss the terms of the tentative deal struck with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers.

Projected on a screen above the stage is a picture of a circle of pencils entitled: “Stronger Together.” 

About 7:30 p.m., the meeting opened with an ovation and WGA West President Patric Verrone saying, “Good evening. Welcome to the Grammys. We have a deal! More importantly, you have a deal.” The deal, he said, took until 1:30 a.m. to come about and until about 6 p.m. tonight to get signed.

“I am personally recommending that we ratify this deal,” Verrone said.

In urging the members to accept the deal, he said that although there were concessions, “it is the best deal the Guild has bargained for in 30 years. Admittedly, the contract has some holes.”

The writers succeeded in getting jurisdiction in new media and higher pay for work distributed on the Internet. Verrone said the guild would continue to push for rights in animation and reality.

The strike isn’t over Monday, he went on to say. The decision to lift the strike will come after the members have had a chance to vote on the contract Tuesday.

“We have repositioned this Guild as a powerful player in this town,” chief negotiator David Young told the crowd before he broke down the details of the contract.

More news on the strike

-- Times Staff Writer