WGA pact: A rush to judgment?
On Friday afternoon, guild leaders Patric Verrone, David Young and John Bowman met with 300 strike captains in Los Angeles to present the terms of the deal, even though the WGA constitution does not require such meetings.
When they arrived, the strike captains were given a three-page memo describing the deal and were encouraged to make public comments about the details. In addition to discussing the terms, the guild leaders also explained why they are considering lifting the strike as early as Monday — before a vote to ratify the contract has been taken.
“They want to take the temperature of the membership and feel that if the overall membership feels it’s a good deal, they’ll call off the strike,” strike captain Sivert Glarum said today. “And if not, they won’t call off the strike. I think that to be expedient they’re trying to get everyone back to work and save the TV season because it might be in the best interest of everyone if we all go back to work before the vote is taken.”
Glarum, an executive producer of CBS’ “Rules of Engagement,” estimates that about 80% of the strike captains who attended think the contract is fair and understand the need to return to work as soon as possible. But several members expressed that they felt the guild was rushing them into a decision and they did not think they should return to work until the vote has been taken, he added.
“I don’t think the guild is trying to ram a deal down anyone’s throats,” he said. “I think the guild is very interested in hearing all writers’ input and that’s why we have these meetings. Most people didn’t wait 20 minutes in line to make a public comment. So I think, while there were some people who did bring that up, I don’t think that the was overall feeling of the room.”
--Maria Elena Fernandez