Letterman and Ferguson back on Jan. 2, interim agreement or not

We're hearing this afternoon that "Late Show with David Letterman" and "Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson" are going back on air Jan. 2 whether or not Letterman's Worldwide Pants production banner gets the interim agreement it has sought with the Writers Guild of America. Insiders say both CBS latenighters are stepping up preparations to be ready to roll on Jan. 2, the same night NBC's Jay Leno and Conan O'Brien and ABC's Jimmy Kimmel get back behind their desks.

Also hearing that WGA has given a mostly cold shoulder to Worldwide Pants' efforts to strike an interim deal that would allow the shows to return with their scribes staffs in place.

Reps for Worldwide Pants and CBS declined comment.

–Cynthia Littleton

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  1. deja vu says:

    It seems I’ve seen your posting elsewhere…
    But why did the union just give up? They could have stopped at any point if there was no progress in the negotiations. Actually, most unions continue to work while negotiating without diminishing their strength. It is through the abuse of the power that some unions find themselves in trouble. Of course, they may have also found that what they were losing by striking would not be easily made up and they realized the whole thing wasn’t worth it.
    Your story stops short because the good working relationship and goodwill shown by the union becomes a strong bargaining tool in a negotiation. The bitterness and rancor being generated in this current situation will do nobody any good, it will simply prolong it and everyone pays. In your story, the union could have simply started charging a high hourly wage for the interim agreement until they settled the strike. Who loses then? The under-the-gun contractor probably would have put up a lot at that point. The wages should reflect the demand for the labor and what the market will bear.

  2. ed says:

    But why did the union just give up? They could have stopped at any point if there was no progress in the negotiations. Actually, most unions continue to work while negotiating without diminishing their strength. It is through the abuse of the power that some unions find themselves in trouble. Of course, they may have also found that what they were losing by striking would not be easily made up and they realized the whole thing wasn’t worth it.
    Your story stops short because the good working relationship and goodwill shown by the union becomes a strong bargaining tool in a negotiation. The bitterness and rancor being generated in this current situation will do nobody any good, it will simply prolong it and everyone pays. In your story, the union could have simply started charging a high hourly wage for the interim agreement until they settled the strike. Who loses then? The under-the-gun contractor probably would have put up a lot at that point. The wages should reflect the demand for the labor and what the market will bear.

  3. ed says:

    This must be a really important point to share it with us 6 times so far. Even twice in this blog posting. Thanks, RC!
    But why did the union just give up? Did the carpenters find out that after a few weeks it made more sense to be working and that they actually liked their jobs? Or that the pay they were losing now would take forever to make up at the extra 75 cents an hour? They could have stopped at any point if they was no progress in the negotiations. Actually, most unions continue to work while negotiating without diminishing their strength. It is through the abuse of the power that some unions find themselves in trouble.
    Your story stops short because the good working relationship and goodwill shown by the union becomes a strong bargaining tool in a negotiation. The bitterness and rancor being generated in this current situation will do nobody any good, it will simply prolong it and everyone pays. In your story, the union could have simply started charging the extra $0.75 an hour for the interim agreement until they settled the strike. Who loses then? The under-the-gun contractor probably would have put up a lot more than that. The wages should reflect the demand for the labor and what the market will bear.

  4. RCMartin says:

    You might as will kiss the strike “Goodbye”, once the Union allows “Any” writers to return via a separate agreement.
    I.E… Allowing writers to work on the “Late Night Shows”
    Once upon a time…
    There was a strong “Carpenter’s Union”. They went on strike for an extra 75cents an hour.
    They were on strike for a few weeks, when one contractor (producer) found out that he was going to be billed for not having his job finished on time.
    So, he went to the Union and said, “I will pay Tuesday for a hamburger today.”
    OK, he asked, “If you let my carpenters work today, “I will pay them the future per hour rate, after the Union settles the strike.”
    The Union said, “That sounds fair”, and let the carpenters go back to work.
    Now the other contractors (producers) heard of this, so they went to the Union and each made separate deals. Each saying, “I will pay Tuesday for a hamburger today.”
    The Union agreed. What’s the harm letting a few workers go back to work?
    Amazingly, the Union discovered, “Hey, where are the striking carpenters?!”
    Well, “They’re out on the job sites.”
    “How come?”
    “We agreed to let one crew go back, now they’re all back to work.”
    “But, we Never settled!”
    “Precisely.”

  5. RCMartin says:

    You might as will kiss the strike “Goodbye”, once the Union allows “Any” writers to return via a separate agreement.
    I.E… Allowing writers to work on the “Late Night Shows”
    Once upon a time…
    There was a strong “Carpenter’s Union”. They went on strike for an extra 75cents an hour.
    They were on strike for a few weeks, when one contractor (producer) found out that he was going to be billed for not having his job finished on time.
    So, he went to the Union and said, “I will pay Tuesday for a hamburger today.”
    OK, he asked, “If you let my carpenters work today, “I will pay them the future per hour rate, after the Union settles the strike.”
    The Union said, “That sounds fair”, and let the carpenters go back to work.
    Now the other contractors (producers) heard of this, so they went to the Union and each made separate deals. Each saying, “I will pay Tuesday for a hamburger today.”
    The Union agreed. What’s the harm letting a few workers go back to work?
    Amazingly, the Union discovered, “Hey, where are the striking carpenters?!”
    Well, “They’re out on the job sites.”
    “How come?”
    “We agreed to let one crew go back, now they’re all back to work.”
    “But, we Never settled!”
    “Precisely.”

  6. stuiec says:

    Ummm… what? “Also hearing that WGA has given a mostly cold shoulder to Worldwide Pants’ efforts to strike an interim deal that would allow the shows to return with their scribes staffs in place”?
    Isn’t the keystone of the WGA’s current strategy to seek exactly such interim deals on a one-by-one basis with AMPTP companies? Why would there be any pushback to Worldwide Pants wanting to comply with this strategy?

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