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WGA briefs foreign guilds on progress

Scribes pledged mutual support in Auckland Declaration

HOLLYWOOD — The Writers Guild of America, continuing its PR campaign amid suspended contract talks, is set to brief international writers guilds today on the negotiations.

It hopes to persuade foreign scribes in Australia, Canada, Great Britain and New Zealand not to be tempted into deals by U.S. producers if the WGA strikes after its film-TV contract expires May 2.

The confab of the Intl. Affiliation of Writers Guilds comes five months after the WGA and foreign associations pledged mutual support at a meeting in New Zealand. Part of their Auckland Declaration said, “The guilds pledge to honor work stoppages, publicize information about work stoppages to their respective memberships and to lend all aid possible to each other in support of negotiating goals.”

WGA spokeswoman Cheryl Rhoden said the IAWG took similar steps before the WGA’s five-month strike in 1988, adding that nearly all foreign writers refused job offers from American studios and nets during the strike. WGA leaders expect to return to negotiations next month, but no date has been set. Since talks stopped March 1, they have held two town hall meetings with members and met with agents.

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