The Writers Guild of America is ready to strike, as the guild has set a strike authorization vote that will begin on April 11.
The WGA began contract talks on March 20 with AMPTP representatives for the major studios, streamers, and networks, and their pleas for better pay have thus far fallen on deaf ears. Should things continue in this direction, a work stoppage could begin as soon as the current contract expires on May 1.
WGA members will be able to start voting online at 8:30 p.m. PT on April 11 through 12 p.m. PT on April 17, and it is widely expected that enough guild members will vote to authorize a strike.
“The studios need to respond to the crisis writers face,” the WGA West wrote in a statement that was disseminated on Twitter on Monday. “WGA members must demonstrate our willingness to fight for the contract writers need and deserve by supporting a strike authorization vote. The effect of a yes vote is to authorize the WGA leadership to call for a strike after May 1st if the companies are unwilling to meet our reasonable and fair demands. Over the past decade, the companies embraced business practices that slashed our compensation and undermined our working conditions. We are asking to restore writer pay & conditions to reflect our value to this industry. The survival of our profession is at stake.”
The WGA has asked members to check their email for important details regarding the vote, noting that “the time has come again” for writers to “fight for what [they] deserve.” Even though both sides had scheduled a two-week break that began on Monday, communication is expected to continue given the gravity of the situation.
Below is a small sampling of strike-related tweets from high-profile writers, including oft-quoted “critic” Ben Mekler, who isn’t kidding around this time. Take a look below to gauge where most writers are leaning here…
I’m voting yes. The WGA is simply asking for a living wage, and the ability of the middle class writer to make a living and a career. Meanwhile the studios are making huge profits, and CEOs making mega bonuses. They’re just refusing to share the wealth that workers are generating https://t.co/8TOk8jfvv8
— Ashley Nicole Black (@ashleyn1cole) April 4, 2023
I am voting yes because writing for most of our members has become a less and less viable profession even though our work has never been more lucrative for the studios. https://t.co/jZxeZetPTc
— Justin Halpern (@justin_halpern) April 4, 2023
I am voting YES on a Strike Authorization Vote, and I urged all WGA members to do so. It is imperative we show our resolve to stand together, even in adversity. This vote empowers our negotiating committee to go after what we need with maximum firepower. #WGAStrong https://t.co/ektJiTxqbe
— Dan Hernandez (@CubanMissileDH) April 3, 2023
I’m voting yes. I think a strike can be avoided if the companies see just how together we are. But also, as I said in the captains meeting, I’m willing to strike—in fact I’ll strike for 3 years straight and roll right into the next strike if it helps my union comrades. https://t.co/3KyCMzxiRE
— Van (@VanTheBrand) April 4, 2023
Fellow WGA members: read this thread and get ready to vote YES on authorization! Let’s show the studios that we’re united and they need to address our extremely valid concerns. https://t.co/AGiKMRqyVV
— Tom Ceraulo (@tceraulo) April 3, 2023
Corporations don't care if we live our die. We have to push back on declining wages for ourselves and the writers who come after us. I'm voting YES on the strike authorization vote. #WGAstrong https://t.co/opdfxq8GiP
— Nick “Netflix PM Coordinator” Mandernach (@ManderNick) April 3, 2023
I'm voting yes and if it were an option I would vote hard yes https://t.co/1v9LN4gBks
— Ben Mekler (@benmekler) April 3, 2023
WGA Members, vote yes and show our strength and solidarity! You know this is important if I'm willing to figure out how to change my profile picture for it! https://t.co/X2V4Q3zz2z
— David H. Steinberg (@DavidHSteinberg) April 3, 2023
Fellow Writers Guild members, this is a crucial moment in our negotiations with the conglomerates: let’s show them some collective superpower and vote YES on this authorization! https://t.co/MSx7jpJXXV
— James Schamus (@JamesSchamus) April 3, 2023
I'm voting yes. https://t.co/jGjOgZT4L7
— ian karmel (@IanKarmel) April 3, 2023