Scribes face reform push

Moves include open board meetings, publishing minutes

Eric Hughes, whose challenge to Victoria Riskin’s eligibility forced her to resign as Writers Guild of America West prexy, will ask the WGAW board today to enact a series of reforms designed to open the guild’s procedures.

The moves include holding open board meetings, publishing the minutes of those meetings, making the election process more accessible to members and creating a committee to inform WGA members of their rights under federal labor law. That committee would not be composed of board members.

“This is about bringing democracy to the guild,” Ron Parker, Hughes’ campaign manager, told Daily Variety.

Parker alleged in an Oct. 6 complaint that the WGAW board and staff had violated labor law in conducting the election and that Riskin had been ineligible. Independent investigator William Gould IV, former head of the National Labor Relations Board, agreed Riskin should not have been allowed to run last summer, but did not find in favor of Parker on the 11 other allegations.

Parker has until Feb. 6 — 90 days after his initial complaint — to go to the Dept. of Labor if he’s not satisfied with the response from the WGAW.

WGAW assistant exec director Cheryl Rhoden said Sunday that the guild is open to proposals from members and that it will always strive to see that its procedures not just comply but exceed government mandates.

Today’s meeting may also address questions about the veracity of statements by Charles Holland, who was elevated Jan. 6 from the VP slot to succeed Riskin, about his activities in the military and college. The guild has remained unresponsive to those questions.

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