Net refuses to rehire nine of 20 soap writers

The WGA East has accused ABC and Corday Prods. of violating the strike termination agreement by refusing to rehire nine of the 20 writers who struck ABC’s “All My Children” and Corday’s “Days of Our Lives.”

ABC spokeswoman Julie Hoover denied the allegations, adding, “We are in full compliance with our contract.” She did not elaborate.

The guild announced Tuesday it had filed separate arbitration cases, adding the companies have 10 days to respond and pick a mutually agreed-upon arbitrator.

Corday said it had no comment.

The soap slots have been filled by replacement workers hired during the strike, according to the guild.

The filings represent the first public disclosure of violations of the Feb. 11 agreement to end the 100-day strike. That agreement said, “No replacement writer hired during the strike period shall be retained on a show over a striking writer who offers to return to work on the same show on which he or she was employed when the strike began.”

“The Strike Termination Agreement does not allow the retention of replacement writers in lieu of allowing striking writers to return to their jobs,” said Ira Cure, senior counsel for the WGA East. “ABC and Corday Productions are clearly violating this agreement. They have left us no other option but to file arbitrations to ensure our members will be afforded their rights outlined under this agreement.”

WGA East spokeswoman Sherry Goldman said all nine writers want to return to work. “The only way that it’s not applicable is if the production has been canceled or completed,” she added.

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