After almost five months, the Writers Guild’s strike is finally coming to an end. As of 12:01 am Wednesday, writers can go back to work while the ratification process takes place. However, if the members reject the tentative agreement that was reached on Sunday, the strike could start up again. The strike, which lasted 148 days, would have been just a few days short of being the guild’s longest ever if it had continued for a little longer. The longest strike in the guild’s history was in 1988, lasting 153 days.
According to the Negotiating Committee, the WGA reached a tentative agreement with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers on a new three-year Minimum Basic Agreement. The WGAW Board and WGAE Council unanimously voted to recommend the agreement, which will now go to the Guilds’ memberships for a ratification vote. The vote will take place from October 2nd to October 9th, giving eligible voters the chance to decide on the agreement.
The WGAW Board and WGAE Council also voted unanimously to lift the restraining order and end the strike as of 12:01 am PT/3:01 am ET on Wednesday, September 27th. This means writers can return to work during the ratification process, but the final determination on contract approval will still be made by the membership.
While the details of the agreement haven’t been made public yet, the Negotiating Committee assured members that it is an exceptional deal with gains and protections for writers in every sector of the business. Some of the key issues addressed during the strike included wages, streaming residuals, protections against the abuse of Artificial Intelligence, and minimum staffing and duration of employment in TV writers’ rooms.
To ensure that members are informed and have the opportunity to ask questions about the agreement before the ratification vote, Contract Informational Member Meetings will be held in New York City, Los Angeles, and online via Zoom. These meetings will provide a chance for members to hear from the Negotiating Committee, Board, and Council. The New York City meeting will take place on September 27th at 7:00 pm ET at the Manhattan Center, while the Los Angeles meeting will also be on September 27th at 7:00 pm PT at the Hollywood Palladium. Zoom meetings will be held on September 28th at 5:00 pm PT/8:00 pm ET and on September 29th at 11:00 am PT/2:00 pm ET.
The tentative agreement to end the strike was approved today by the WGA West Board and the WGA East Council, who also voted to lift the restraining order. The guild states that this allows writers to return to work during the ratification vote without affecting the membership’s right to make a final determination on contract approval.
The next step is for the guilds’ members to ratify the agreement, which will then determine the future of the Writers Guild. With almost five months of striking behind them, writers will soon have the chance to get back to what they do best – creating compelling stories and content.