Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Writers Guild of America strike

The 2007–2008 Writers Guild of America strike, more commonly referred to as simply the Writers' Strike, was a strike by the Writers Guild of America, East (WGAE) and the Writers Guild of America, West (WGAW). The WGAE and WGAW labor unions represent film, television, and radio writers working in the United States. More than 12,000 writers joined the strike which started on November 5, 2007 and concluded on February 12, 2008.

The strike sought increased monetary compensation for the writers in comparison to the profits of the larger studios. It was targeted at the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP), a trade organization representing the interests of 397 American film and television producers. The most influential of these are eleven corporations: CBS (headed by Les Moonves), MGM (Harry E. Sloan), NBC Universal (Jeffrey Zucker), The Weinstein Company (Harvey and Bob Weinstein), Lionsgate (Jon Feltheimer), News Corp/Fox (Peter Chernin), Paramount Pictures (Brad Grey), Anchor Bay/Liberty Media/Starz (Chris McGurk), Sony Pictures (Michael Lynton), the Walt Disney Company (Robert Iger), and Warner Bros. (Barry Meyer).

Negotiators for the striking writers reached a tentative agreement on February 8, 2008, and the boards of both guilds unanimously approved the deal on February 10, 2008. Striking writers voted on February 12, 2008 on whether to lift the restraining order, with 92.5% voting to end the strike. On February 26, the WGA announced that the contract had been ratified with a 93.6% approval among WGA members. The writers guild later requested a court order seeking that the agreement be honored and implemented.

The guilds were on strike for 14 weeks and 2 days (100 days). In contrast, the previous strike in 1988, the longest in the history of the Guild, lasted 21 weeks and 6 days (153 days), costing the American entertainment industry an estimated $500 million in opportunity costs. According to a National Public Radio (NPR) report filed on February 12, 2008, the strike cost the economy of Los Angeles an estimated $1.5 billion. A report from the UCLA Anderson School of Management put the loss at $380 million, while economist Jack Kyser put the loss at $2.1 billion.

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