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East Coast writers optimistic strike is coming to an end

February 9, 2008 |  2:27 pm

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After about 90 minutes, East Coast writers began exiting a closed-door meeting in New York to discuss details of the pending pact -- and expressed optimism that the strike would soon be resolved.

"It sounds really positive and I think we negotiated a good deal" said Seth Meyers, one of the head writers on "Saturday Night Live." "I think we were right about the things we struck for."

Another writer, who declined to give his name but said he worked in episodic drama, said the room was filled with applause and excitement. "There a sense that we won," he said. "There's a good feeling that the strike will be rescinded sooner rather than later."

Tom Phillips, a news writer for CBS, said the meeting went very well: "I think the contract will be approved by a wide margin."

Phillip added that the reaction inside the room was mixed, with some people asking sharp questions, but said that "most people were enthusiastic."

"I think the topline is that WGA has jurisdiction for writing under new media," Phillips said. "That was basically what the strike was about. And that was a win."

Carmen Culver, a writer for movies and miniseries, called the agreement that was presented a complicated deal. "There were some parts I was very happy about and others less so," she said. "But I'm extremely proud of the guild for hanging tough. It's a great day for the labor movement. We have really stood up and said to these corporations that it all begins with the word. I think the big boys have been brought to their knees."

There was no lack of applause in the room for the negotiators and strike captains and all the work they have done. She added that most of the questions from members were about technical, complicated aspects of the deal. "You have to understand that we're writers, not lawyers."

Writers coming out of the New York meeting said that while the mood was very optimistic, they were unsure how quickly the strike would end, adding that the membership has yet to vote on the deal. There was no vote held at the meeting.

--Matea Gold

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