Tuesday, October 02, 2007
As the October 31 contract expiration looms, the war of words between the producers and writers has begun. The president of the group representing movie and TV producers has denounced the decision by the Writers Guild of America to hold a strike-authorization vote.
Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers President Nick Counter called the decision "reckless" and charged that negotiators for the guild "seem intent on striking without seriously addressing the AMPTP's proposals and with no regard for the devastating impact on their members, fellow unions and this industry."
In their letter to 13,000 WGA members, Patric Verrone, president of the WGA West, and Michael Winship, his WGA East counterpart, portrayed the vote as a routine procedure. "This is a step that unions regularly take and that we have taken in the past, particularly in negotiations where fundamental issues regarding our future are on the table," they said.
But in reporting on the guild's move, today's Daily Variety commented that it "portends that negotiations -- set to resume Thursday -- will continue to follow a rocky course as each side seeks to gain leverage through an exceptionally hostile public realtions battle.
This is going to be very nasty.