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WGA cuts staff amid deficit

Guild lays off at least a dozen employees

The Writers Guild of America West has cut at least a dozen of its 185 employees as a result of an operating deficit of more than $2 million.

The cuts included longtime assistant exec directors Paul Nawrocki and Countess Williams. WGA West spokesman Neal Sacharow confirmed Wednesday less than 18 employees had been terminated.

“The guild has not escaped the effects of the global financial crisis and as a consequence has had to make the difficult decision to lay off some of its employees, less than 10 per cent of the total staff,” Sacharow said. “We regret that we were forced to take this action and we wish those affected well in the future.”

Nawrocki received a salary of $214,621 in fiscal year ended March 31 and Williams received $219,558, according the WGA West’s LM-2 report to the Dept. of Labor.

Staff reps were informed earlier this month about the layoffs, which have been blamed on the nation’s financial crisis lowering the value of the WGA West’s investment portfolio along with a decline in dues-generating work for members. The WGA West disclosed to members last summer in its annual report that its expenditures jumped 11% to $26.3 million due to the costs of negotiations and the 100-day strike, leading to an operating deficit of $800,000 for the fiscal year ended March 31 (Daily Variety, July 7).

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