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WGA fears AMPTP will walk

Guild hopes to negotiate through holidays

As a new round of bargaining got underway, the WGA Friday morning expressed concerns over rumors that the AMPTP might soon cut off talks and challenged the AMPTP to keep negotiating through the holidays.

“Highly placed executives have been telling some of our writers that the companies are preparing to abruptly cut off negotiations,” the WGA missive read.  “They say the companies plan to accuse the WGA of stalling and being unwilling to negotiate, and that the companies will use that as an excuse to walk out. 

“The Writers Guilds of America, West and East are going on record now that any such claims are absolutely untrue.  We have been at the negotiating table every day, willing to bargain.  Furthermore, we hereby challenge the AMPTP to negotiate in good faith, day and night, through the Christmas and New Year’s holidays – whatever is necessary – to get this done and get the town back to work.  The Writers Guilds will remain at the table every day, for as long as it takes, to make a fair deal.”

Email also expressed concerns over rumors that “one or more of the companies are prepared to throw away the spring and fall TV season, plus features, and prolong the strike. Aside from the devastating effect this would have on the unions, workers, and their families in this industry, it would certainly explain the AMPTP’s refusal to put any new proposals, even a bad one, on the table.”

Guild began its email to members by seeming to accuse the AMPTP of dragging its feet in making new offers.

“On Thursday, we met at 10am, and they told us their new proposals would be ready shortly,” the email said.   “At 5pm, they told us their proposals still weren’t ready, that they would be working on them late into the night, and that we should come back this morning at 10am.  The fact that we saw everyone from the AMPTP leave the building by 6:45pm is not a promising sign.”

Despite the tough words, negotiations were scheduled to resume this morning.

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