This just isn’t 2008.
That was the message despatched on Thursday by the Writers Guild of America, which argues that the present strike — now a month outdated — is not going to finish the way in which the final one did 15 years in the past.
In 2008, the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers received a take care of the Directors Guild of America, which set the sample for the deal that ended the writers strike after 100 days.
In an electronic mail to members, the WGA argued that the studios are as soon as once more pursuing the same “divide and conquer” technique.
“That strategy, however, depends on divided unions,” the WGA informed its members. “This year is different.”
The WGA argued that the Hollywood guilds are united in a approach they weren’t in 2008, and that they gained’t be pressured to associate with “pattern” bargaining.
“The essence of the strategy is to make deals with some unions and tell the rest that’s all there is,” the WGA stated. “It’s gaslighting, and it only works if unions are divided.”
The WGA emphasised that the strike will solely finish when the businesses agree to barter “on our full agenda.”
The DGA is at the moment negotiating its contract with the AMPTP, and it has only some days left earlier than the studios are scheduled to start talks with SAG-AFTRA. The DGA is targeted totally on getting a greater deal on streaming residuals, with a components that may account for the expansion in worldwide subscribers.
The WGA can be fascinated about such a components, however has many different calls for as nicely, together with a minimal workers dimension for TV writers rooms, a minimal variety of weeks of labor per present, provisions on synthetic intelligence, and a streaming components that pays extra for in style exhibits. The DGA just isn’t believed to be pursuing these gadgets.
On Wednesday, the WGA issued a joint assertion with different Hollywood unions expressing assist for a good contract with the DGA, arguing it might profit “every worker” within the trade. The identical message famous that the DGA had “unique priorities.”
Since the outset of the strike, writers have been informed that the DGA most likely will get a deal, however that such a deal is not going to resolve the strike as a result of it is not going to deal with a lot of the writers’ points.
The full electronic mail follows:
The AMPTP playbook has been to divide and conquer…labor.
The AMPTP was shaped within the Nineteen Eighties when the trade’s main employers determined they had been bored with the many years of good points made by unions when participating in their very own divide and conquer technique – selecting an employer (or employer group) to get deal that the remainder of the trade studios needed to observe.
The AMPTP technique of company unity has been wildly profitable for the businesses. Labor prices have been contained in an trade the place employees have large energy whereas the businesses reaped billions on billions in revenue, 12 months after 12 months. During the final 35 years, there have been solely two strikes – 2007/08 and now.
While the employers had been united, labor has been much less so. Until just lately.
During the final WGA strike, SAG was supportive however relations with among the different unions had been strained. While writers had been out on picket traces, the DGA negotiated its personal deal far forward of its contract expiration, which included some (however not all) of the targets writers sought.
In the intervening contract cycles, union solidarity in Hollywood was restricted. The DGA negotiated first, far forward of their deadline, and the implicit message from the AMPTP was that the WGA or different unions must strike to get a greater deal than the sample already set.
This bargaining cycle, the trade started beating the strike drum far prematurely of the WGA’s formulation of bargaining calls for, not to mention the beginning of precise negotiations. The AMPTP set a technique in movement designed to be a repeat of 2007/08. Divide and conquer. Hold off a take care of the DGA till after the WGA contract expiration date in order that within the occasion of a writers’ strike the AMPTP might power a DGA sample on the WGA. Even higher if they may additionally sew up a take care of SAG-AFTRA. They would then declare that the writers had been being unreasonable.
That technique, nevertheless, will depend on divided unions. This 12 months is completely different. Every union on the town got here out in assist of the WGA, each throughout negotiations and after the beginning of the strike. The DGA has been clear that it’s going through a tricky and important negotiation to handle its members’ wants. Yesterday, we joined an announcement together with SAG-AFTRA, IATSE and Teamsters 399 in solidarity with the DGA of their negotiations. SAG-AFTRA is taking a strike authorization vote as they enter negotiations to handle the existential points its members are going through. Teamsters, IATSE, and different leisure union members have been honoring WGA picket traces throughout the nation.
Still, the AMPTP stays dedicated to its technique.
They pretended they couldn’t negotiate with the WGA in May due to negotiations with the DGA. That’s a lie. It’s a alternative they made in hope of respiratory life into the divide and conquer technique. The essence of the technique is to make offers with some unions and inform the remaining that’s all there may be. It’s gaslighting, and it solely works if unions are divided.
Our place is obvious: to resolve the strike, the businesses should negotiate with the WGA on our full agenda.
The AMPTP ought to have made a good take care of writers by May 1st. But they didn’t, as they’re seemingly intent on persevering with their efforts to destroy the career of writing. For the final month, writers have adopted within the footsteps of many generations earlier than who went on strike to safe their collective future on this enterprise. We will proceed to march till the businesses negotiate pretty with us. We do it now with the assist of our sister guilds and unions, and we’ll assist them every time it’s their flip. The period of divide and conquer is over.