WGA and producers suspend contract talks till April 25 as guild seeks strike authorization from members

With just two weeks to go until the current three-year deal expires on May 1, the Writers Guild of America (WGA) and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) have suspended negotiations until April 25. The two sides met on Monday (April 17) after taking a break from bargaining for Easter. This new break will allow the guild to conduct a strike authorization vote. While the two sides reached agreements fairly readily in 2010 and 2013, there was a 100-day strike in 2007/8.

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The two sides first met last month but didn’t get very far in their two weeks of preliminary negotiations. They were at an impasse by March 23. The next day, with no agreement in sight on the key issues, the 25 WGA members on the negotiating committee requested that the leadership canvass members for the authority to hold a strike vote. This would put those negotiating on behalf of the writers in a stronger position.

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In support of this, WGA West released a video on April 13 with members of the committee making their case. On April 17, negotiating committee co-chairs Chip Johannessen, Chris Keyser and Billy Ray emailed the entire guild to “ask for your support in the Strike Authorization Vote, which will give us the leverage we need to speak for a strong and unified Guild when we return to the table.”

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