The announced end of the Hollywood writers’ strike has come as a drink of fresh water for the industry after seven months in the desert. The announcement of a provisional agreement between the union WGA and AMPTP, the film and TV employers’ association in the United States has been enough to make financial analysts sigh with relief and trust in a soon return to normality.
Since its beginning the May 2, The strike has put the production of some of the majors’ most expensive and valuable projects on hold, which is why the two parties in conflict are eager to get out of the impasse. Now, the deal between employers and union is only provisional, and still needs validation by the workers.
When will the strike end? And what will be the new conditions for members of the writers’ union if their demands are accepted? This is the time to clarify it.
The requirements to end the strike
As IndieWire recalls, the WGA negotiating committee will not end the writers’ strike until it has been drafted a definitive commitment to the employers. This document, whose announcement is expected on Tuesday, September 26, will have to be approved by the two branches of the union, corresponding to the east coast and the west coast of the United States.
Once its members have approved the agreement, which will be valid for three years, the WGA must vote again to officially call off the strike. All these resolutions must be reached by a simple majority.
So, even though the union has withdrawn its pickets, its members still have not returned to their jobs. For that moment to arrive, the last steps in the negotiation process must still be taken.
In the previous screenwriters’ strike (2007-2008), the first provisional agreement reached on February 8, and was approved by the union and employers two days later. On February 12, 2008, 92.5 percent of WGA members voted in favor of ending the strike, while ratification of the agreement came on February 26, with 93.6 percent voting in favor. favor. In total, the strike lasted 100 days.
What will this mean for the screenwriters?
In the best of cases, if employers and union reach an agreement and the strike is called off, the scriptwriters will be able send scripts to production companies, negotiate through their agents, develop new projects and work on scripts already in production. Likewise, the series writers’ rooms will become active again, working at full speed to reach the fall season.
Likewise, the writers and will have the WGA license to promote their work ahead of awards season. Besides, the studios will have to validate their global agreements again (“overall deals”): The suspension of these contracts, which cover the salaries and working conditions of writers during the production period, has been one of the majors’ tools to pressure the strikers.
Finally, the end of the strike will allow television channels get your programs back on track, including titles as important as Saturday night Live and Tonight Show. All this content will be put back into action immediately, since its presenters are not forced to strike by the union SAG-AFTRA.
What about the actors?
Although the writers’ strike comes to an end, the restoration of normality in Hollywood will still have to go through the end of the actors’ strike called by SAG-AFTRA. A strike whose end, for its part, is still very far away.
At the moment, the actors union has not sat down to negotiate with the AMPTP at any time since the strike was called on July 14. Because, although the claims of actors and scriptwriters are similar in some points, the former have more specific demands related to the use of their digitized images and the work of extras and specialists.
Likewise, the membership of SAG-AFTRA is much larger than that of the screenwriters’ union (65,000 members in the former compared to 11,500 in the latter). This makes the central voting longer and more complicated.
Although some analysts cited by The Hollywood Reporter expect the actors’ strike to end in October, nothing guarantees this. Especially because the union has a very powerful weapon: While the strike lasts, its members will not promote films on which they have worked. Hence blockbusters like Kraven the hunter and Dune Part 2 have seen their release dates delayed, due to not being able to carry out their marketing campaigns.
Even so, the return to work of the scriptwriters is considered inevitable, except in the case of a last-minute disagreement between them and the employers. And, when the writers are back seated at their tables, one more step will have been taken towards setting the Hollywood machine in motion.
Do you want to be up to date with all the latest movie and series news? Sign up for our newsletter.