WGA East sets re-vote

DOL will not be involved in the rerun

Citing a computer error, the Writers Guild of America East is rerunning its council election for the second time.

“We discovered a computer error that resulted in ballots being sent to noncurrent members,” said a WGA East spokeswoman. “Therefore, we decided to rerun the election.”

The WGA West ran its presidential election last year under the supervision of the Dept. of Labor after the 2003 election was invalidated due to Victoria Riskin’s ineligibility. Gordon said there was no Labor Dept. complaint about the WGA East election and that the DOL is not involved in the rerun.

Ballots went out Monday and are due back March 29.

The WGA East first delayed the election last September when it was discovered that it had mishandled 16 ballots. The WGA East, which reps about 4,000 members, then asked the 16 members to vote again and announced in October that incumbents won most of the slots as Walter Bernstein, Judy Crichton, Budd Schulberg and Richard Wesley were re-elected to two-year terms as freelance members, while Chris Albers and Michael Weller were newly elected.

Burl Britt and Andy Meppen were re-elected as staff members of the council while Peter Bianco and Maryann Pryor were newly elected.

The WGA East and WGA West have also agreed on former California Supreme Court justice Joseph Grodin to mediate their dispute over finances.

The West is accusing the WGA East of cheating it out of more than $500,000 per year in dues by failing to observe provisions of the 51-year-old affiliation agreement that set up the two branches and another $500,000 annually in services it provides to WGA East members. The WGA East disputes the numbers and has accused the WGA West of union-busting.

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