Following a strike threat, the Writers Guild of America has reached an agreement with Nickelodeon for the network to pay $11 million in residual payments and interest for writers who work on Nick shows.
The payments were disclosed in an email to members by WGA West president Christopher Keyser and exec director David Young, who said that the guild had pursued arbitration claims against Nickelodeon an “egregious” ongoing failure to pay residuals on a timely basis.
“The guild’s efforts culminated this spring with a demand that Nickelodeon post a multi-million-dollar bond to cover future residuals on its shows,” the missive said. “We warned the company that if it failed to post the bond, the Guild would be forced to issue a stop work order for writers on Nickelodeon shows. That got their attention.”
Keyser and Young said that during the six months that followed that demand, Nickelodeon worked with the WGA to remedy the situation on all 22 shows on which residuals were owed and paid the full amount of interest due under the minimum basic agreement at the rate of 18% per year for the late payment of those residuals.
“All told, since the guild brought its claims, Nickelodeon has paid writers on these shows more than $10 million in residuals and almost $1 million in interest,” Keyser and Young said. “The last of this money is now being distributed. Just as important, Nickelodeon appears to have changed its practices and is currently making efforts to pay residuals on time.”
Nickelodeon issued a statement in response: “We have the utmost respect and admiration for all of our writers, and have worked very hard with the WGA over the past months to ensure all residual payments have been made. As the Guild notes, we have now completely remedied the situation, and we look forward to a continued excellent working relationship with our writers.”