Thursday, November 15, 2007

WGA Always Planned To Strike

The head of the entertainment industry's largest union threw the WGA leaders under a bus by accusing them of delaying negotiations to such a degree that the WGA made a strike inevitable. Thomas Short, president of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE), accused WGA West President Patric Verrone of deliberately delaying talks with the Association of Motion Picture and TV Producers (AMPTP) until the last moment.

"When I phoned you on Nov. 28, 2006, to ask you to reconsider the timing of negotiations, you refused," Short said in a letter to Verrone. "It now seems that you were intending that there be a strike no matter what you were offered, or what conditions the industry faced when your contract expired at the end of October." The result, he said, has been the loss of jobs for thousands of members of IATSE and other unions. "

The IATSE alone has over 50,000 members working in motion picture, television, and broadcasting and tens of thousands more are losing jobs in related fields."

Short concluded that it was "time to put egos aside" and return to the negotiating table and predicted "irreversible damage" to the industry if negotiations do not resume. Verrone issued a brief letter in response cryptically noting that IATSE members receive five times more in contributions to their health fund from the studios than do writers, and then added, "To put it simply, our fight should be your fight."

He then insisted that the WGA is "willing to negotiate" and that it was the AMPTP that walked out of the negotiations. "So please help us by doing everything you can to get the AMPTP to come back to the table and settle this strike." However, later yesterday, Verrone backtracked on his earlier statements and said the WGA would only return to the table
"as soon as the companies make it clear that they are willing to respond to the issues that are important to the association, leading with new media."


jax said...

see this is why strikes don't turns intot a pissing contest between 2 old dudes with more money than they need.

sorry writers but there are about 6-20 of you per show..but what about the other 100+ people losing money everyday not related to writing?

Mooshki said...

In my experience, union leaders tend to be almost as prickish as management. It's always the little guy that loses.

bionic bunny! said...

thanks, jax, that's what i've been wanting to say.
mr. bunny works in technology for one of the studios, and his group was threatened with violence!
i don't think the actual picketers would do that, but they have been very unpleasant. i feel really, really bad for the crews that get laid off and have no recourse, it sickens me. said...

Where's the mediators? They should be the ones doing all the communicating. I wish I was in charge of running the world.

jax said...

from what i understand their are none..even good ol Bill Clintion offered to help mediate.

Blossom said...

Actors, writers and producers all knew there would be a strike back in April of this year. I've been saving $$ for awhile.

Nosey Parker said...
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