AMPTP Asks WGA to Resume Contract Talks

The major studios have formally asked the Writers Guild of America to return to the bargaining table.

Carol Lombardini, president of the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, sent a letter to WGA West exec director David Young and WGA East exec director Lowell Peterson today asking them to set a date for resuming the talks that ended last Thursday. The AMPTP wants the WGA to respond to what it described as the “Comprehensive Package Proposal” that was offered the last time they met.

The WGA did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The AMPTP brought an end to the talks last Thursday after nearly two weeks at the table at AMPTP headquarters in Encino. The WGA has since initiated the process of conducting a strike authorization vote among its membership, and sent a message to members that was critical of the AMPTP offer in key arenas, particularly as it related to employer health care contributions.

Nonetheless, the guild said late Wednesday it hopes to “recommence negotiations whenever the AMPTP is ready to meet and invites us back.”

After the guild informed the AMPTP of its decision to seek a strike authorization vote late last week, it’s understood that Lombardini told guild leaders on Thursday night there was no point in continuing the talks. The AMPTP position was that the offer was put on the table last week and the WGA did not respond beyond triggering the strike authorization vote.

At some point late Thursday there was an exchange of communications between the sides that left the AMPTP with the impression that they would hear a new proposal or date suggestion for renewed talks from the WGA.

“We’ve always indicate we are willing to talk when they are, and we have not heard from them,” said an AMPTP spokesman on Wednesday.

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