Members of the Writers Guild of America West have approved John McLean’s appointment as executive director of the 8,500-member union.
Of the 1,367 valid ballots cast, McLean received a 93.5% nod, with 1,278 members voting for him and 89 against him.
McLean took office March 1 after 18 years as vice president, West Coast industrial relations, at CBS. In 25 years of labor relations work, he negotiated more than 500 contracts.
From New York, where he was attending a meeting of the Intl. Affiliation of Writers Guilds, McLean said he appreciated the members’ vote of confidence.
The guild has “a smart and savvy board of experienced writers with the vision to chart an aggressive approach to ensure we attain our goals,” he said.
Also approved was an amendment to the guild’s constitution allowing members to remain in post-current membership status indefinitely by paying a $75 annual service fee. The amendment passed by a 67.3% majority.
“This vote assures that those writers who have not obtained recent employment will be able to continue their relationship with the community of writers for as long as they wish,” WGAW prexy Daniel Petrie Jr. said.
But another amendment failed. It would have abolished the post-current and emeritus membership categories, granting membership for life to any writer now a member or who qualified for current status at any time in the guild’s history.