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Thread Writers' Strike

WGA asks members to vote on key demands in bargaining with studios

Headquarters of the Writers Guild of America West in the Fairfax District.
(Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)
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Curb “abuses” of so-called mini-rooms. Boost residual payments for streaming shows. Regulate artificial intelligence in writing.

Those are among the leading bargaining goals established by the Writers Guild of America, according to an email to union members viewed by The Times.

The WGA’s leadership on Monday asked its more than 10,000 members to vote on a proposed “pattern of demands,” the general areas that will guide negotiations set to begin on March 20. Ballots must be submitted by March 7.

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Writers meet today to discuss the issues they expect will be at the center of difficult contract negotiations with the studios this spring.

Feb. 15, 2023

Among the bargaining demands: The union wants increased contributions to the union’s health and pension plan; higher minimum pay across all categories; and standardized compensation, whether content is released in theaters or on streaming platforms.

The union also is seeking to extend span protection, which restricts the amount of time writers can spend working on a single episode of TV; and to regulate the use of material produced using artificial intelligence or similar technologies.

The bargaining proposals provide the framework for upcoming negotiations with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers in what is expected to be a contentious bargaining cycle. Producers and studios are already girding for a writers’ strike this year, the first since 2007. The current contract for writers expires May 1.

Studios and producers are preparing for a possible writers’ strike, a month before negotiations are set to begin with the Writers Guild of America.

Feb. 23, 2023

“The 2023 MBA [minimum basic agreement] negotiations takes place in the context of an expanding media industry that remains highly profitable, despite short-term declines in profitability affecting some companies,” wrote WGA West President Meredith Stiehm and WGA East President Michael Winship in an email to members first reported by Variety. “The broad goal of our negotiating committee will be to build on the gains achieved in past contracts, and to ensure that writers receive their fair share of the proceeds generated by the content they create.”

The pattern of demands vote follows a series of meetings held by the union in Los Angeles and New York to solicit members’ feedback.

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