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HomeBlog the LineAbout Last Night: BTL's Last Strike Report from "Source?"

About Last Night: BTL's Last Strike Report from "Source?"


So our WGA Source checked in one more time, with this report about last night’s big meet — lots of interested stuff in here, fallout/implication wise, especially the lead off consideration about time to make up the health coverage minimum. Question: Will members in other idled guilds and locals get the same chance?:

I left after David Young went over the contract summary point by point and the strike settlement agreement, where he answered the one and only question I was going to ask, which was “Since we didn’t work for an entire quarter, do we get another quarter to make our health coverage minimum?” and the answer to that was ‘probably’, so I skipped out before the endless Q & A (which is mostly about people loving the sound of their own voice) and it was already after 9PM.

So, in general, I felt the mood was positive – a couple of grumblers, but mostly positive. I think the majority of the Guild feels this is the best deal we can get at the moment.

Many standing ovations – the longest of which was for the other unions that supported us during the strike, and another in support of SAG, who are soon to begin their long slog with the AMPTP.

What the guild leadership had to say about the deal overall is, I think, what most members feel – We got most of what we wanted and then we got what we got – partially because it’s what the DGA got, and then there are a few things we’re going to need to re-address three years from now.

As for the three things the LA Times reported we didn’t get at all:

While most guild members would have liked to have seen an increase on DVDs, like I’ve said before, that cat is out of the bag – the percentage on that has been what it is for years, same as the VHS formula – and there was no way we were going to get the AMPTP to squeeze out an increase, so that was a bargaining chip & we went after the delivery system of the future – the internet.

Also many guild members felt we should have held out for animation writers, but I believe that was dropped in the interest of keeping the peace with IATSE, since the Animation Guild falls under their auspices.

And the membership as a whole has always been divided as to whether or not to try to unionize reality writers. Many feel reality writers are really editors and not writers, others feel that as long as they write ANYTHING and construct story, they should be members. The truth is, it makes really good business sense for the WGA to have them in the fold, and it’s likely something that will be readdressed, but right now, in the interest of settling this thing, saving the fall TV season, pilot season and new features, it was bargained away.

I think more than anything everyone’s relieved this appears to be over. Everyone was hurting – even the richest showrunners, who really were between a rock and a hard place, abdicating their producing responsibilites and putting their crews out of work.

Now comes the long process of healing the rift in town over this thing. It’ll take a while, but everyone suffered and again, I just have to say, that monetarily, the AMPTP could have settled this ages ago and not felt a pinch in the pocketbook. They had an agenda, dropping overall deals with force majeure and tanking the fall television season. Mission accomplished, and only when it got to the point where they WOULD feel the sting – the entire fall season a write off — even the cash cows –no pilot season at all, film production in jeopardy, and no Oscars, which they need to promote a lackluster box office – only then did they do what they could have done months ago, and settle.

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