Verrone promises more independent deals to come for the WGA

WGA West president Patric Verrone is confident that his guild will sign more interim deals soon, similar to the trio that it’s already announced for United Artists, Worldwide Pants and the Weinstein Co.

Verrone made the assertion as part of a message to members sent late Friday that disclosed the TWC deal and reiterated the WGA’s cautious reaction to the news that the DGA’s begun negotiations with the AMPTP.

He also asked members to show up Monday at Warner Bros. for picketing as part of the WGA’s Employee Solidarity Day. The WGA has limited picketing that day to NBC Burbank and Warner Bros.

Here’s the entire message:

To My Fellow Members,

This afternoon, the Directors Guild announced that it would commence formal negotiations with the AMPTP tomorrow.  In a joint press release with the Screen Actors Guild, the Writers Guilds, West and East, wished the DGA well and offered our hope that they achieve a fair deal that incorporates principles that will benefits all creative artists.  We further stated that, while the DGA has to do what is best for its membership, it is important to remember that they do not represent writers and actors.  If the DGA is able to reach an agreement with the AMPTP, we will carefully analyze the terms to see whether or not they advance our interests, and SAG will do the same.

Also this afternoon, we signed an independent agreement with The Weinstein Company, one of the most important and successful independent film studios in the business. This deal is virtually identical to the agreement made with United Artists and Worldwide Pants and, like those deals, includes all the new media and other proposals which were about to be presented to the conglomerates when they left the table on December 7. More of these agreements are in the works and I expect to be able to announce the next one soon.

Finally, I wanted to congratulate the CBS news and promo writers on behalf of our entire membership on the contract which they concluded this week after working under expired terms since April of 2005.  This deal is a result of a long and difficult struggle carried out by our members East and West, culminating in an overwhelming strike authorization vote last month.  Now that CBS has its late night, promo, and news writers under contract, we hope it will return to the table and make a deal with us for their remaining daytime and prime time writers.

I hope to see as many of you as possible at Warner Brothers on Monday for Employee Solidarity Day. We are all in this together.


Patric M. Verrone
President, WGAW