WGA West prexy Patric Verrone explained the guild’s decision to file unfair labor practice charges against the AMPTP in a message sent to members Thursday evening.
Maybe we’re reading too much into this after a dizzying week of developments, but it seems like Verrone’s stance on reality and animation jurisdiction — the ostensible reason for the blow up of the talks last week with when the AMPTP made its drop-these-items-or-we’re-outta-here ultimatum — is softening just a wee bit.
“It was the companies who unilaterally and illegally broke off negotiations, and to make it seem as if the WGA was more interested in reality and animation than in new media compensation and jurisdiction. I can assure you that is not the case,” Verrone said.
Softening? Or is the “that is not the case” part an effort to assuage the frustrations of members who don’t really give a hoot about reality jurisdiction. Decide for yourself — here’s Verrone’s entire message.
To My Fellow Members:
The AMPTP and each of its member companies have a legal obligation to bargain in good faith with the WGA. Their unilateral walkout from negotiations last Friday and their on-going refusal to bargain is illegal under the National Labor Relations Act. Therefore the WGA today filed Unfair Labor Practice charges against the AMPTP with the National Labor Relations Board.
The DGA’s announcement today that it may begin negotiations with the AMPTP in January in no way relieves the AMPTP of their legal obligation to negotiate with us. The only legal way for the AMPTP to remedy the Unfair Labor Practice charge we have filed is to return to the bargaining table.
The WGA Negotiating Committee and leadership are working hard on many fronts to bring the AMPTP back to the table. In the meantime, your presence on the picket lines Monday, along with your support for the Guild, is critical in increasing our leverage with the companies.
The companies walked out of talks for the second time last Friday, and are using every possible tactic to attempt to divide our members and create ill will. They have recently employed a team of highly-paid spin-doctors to take attention away from the fact that it was the companies who unilaterally and illegally broke off negotiations, and to make it seem as if the WGA was more interested in reality and animation than in new media compensation and jurisdiction. I can assure you that is not the case. The Writers Guild’s proposals remain reasonable and affordable.
The companies’ refusal to bargain in good faith is a callous and cynical act, denying paychecks to thousands of families this holiday season. The WGA strongly urges the AMPTP to return to the table and begin good-faith negotiations, so that our members and the rest of the community can get back to work as soon as possible.
Patric M. Verrone
President, WGA West