Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Pencils Up, the Strike is Over!



Here's the latest from the WGA:

To Our Fellow Members:

On Tuesday, members of the Writers Guilds East and West voted by a 92.5% margin to lift the restraining order that was invoked on November 5th. The strike is over.

Writing can resume immediately. If you were employed when the strike began, you should plan to report to work on Wednesday. If you’re not employed at an office or other work site, call or e-mail your employer that you are resuming work. If you have been told not to report to work or resume your services, we recommend that you still notify your employer in writing of your availability to do so. Questions concerning return-to-work issues should be directed to the WGAW legal department at 323.782.4521 or the WGAE’s assistant executive director Ann Toback at 212-767-7823.

The decision to begin this strike was not taken lightly and was only made after no other reasonable alternative was possible. We are profoundly aware of the economic loss these fourteen weeks have created not only for our members but so many other colleagues who work in the television and motion picture industries. Nonetheless, with the establishment of the WGA jurisdiction over new media and residual formulas based on distributor’s gross revenue (among other gains) we are confident that the results are a significant achievement not only for ourselves but the entire creative community, now and in the future.

We hope to build upon the extraordinary energy, ingenuity, and solidarity that were generated by your hard work during the strike.

Over the next weeks and months, we will be in touch with you to discuss and develop ways we can use our unprecedented unity to make our two guilds stronger and more effective than ever.

Now that the strike has ended, there remains the vote to ratify the new contract. Ballots and information on the new deal, both pro and con, will be mailed to you shortly. You will be able to return those ballots via mail or at a membership meeting to be held Monday, February 25th, 2008, at times and locations to be determined.

Thank you for making it possible. As ever, we are all in this together.

Best,

Patric M. Verrone

President, WGAW

Michael Winship

President, WGAE


Battlestar Galactica co-exec producer Mark Verheiden writes:
The contract still needs to be ratified, but barring some sort of disaster that's pretty much a done deal. So it's over. It's interesting; making a living as a writer in the film and television business is nerve-wracking almost by definition, but the strike was a different sort of stress. For one things, most writers are sole proprietors, used to making business decisions for themselves. To hand the reins over to others (even the crack WGA negotiating team) is inherently frustrating. Also, like most writers I'm used to working under deadline, aiming toward a due date. Strikes don't work that way.

Still, it's amazing how fast and yet how slow one hundred days can pass. And it's even more amazing what the collective, determined will of a group of like-minded folks can achieve.

We now return you to our regular blog, dealing with my various projects, obsessions and interests. Hey, how about that Springsteen tour? And remember, Battlestar Galactica season four returns on April 4th!

Now back to work!


Fans4Writers deserves so much credit for organizing fan communities online. The studios mocked the Fan Days and the Pencils, but the public's unwavering support for the writers (as shown in all the opinion polls) at the very least helped strengthen the WGA's hand.

It's a great victory for workers in all fields, as well for all the below the line workers in Hollywood, not just for the writers and directors....

So, I expect this to be the last strike related news on this blog. We'll now resume regular Battlestar Galactica news....

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