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WGA leaders: ‘This is a critical juncture in our struggle’

WGA leaders have told members that they are “committed to moving the process forward” post-DGA deal now that the AMPTP has reached out to them for informal talks. WGA’s Patric Verrone, Michael Winship and negotiating committee chair John Bowman also told members in the email message sent Friday that the guild has inked interim pacts with four more indie film banners: Mandate Pictures, Bob Yari’s Sixth Floor Literary Properties, Overt Operations/Anonymous Content and Sidney Kimmel Entertainment.

Amid increasing talk of a major rift in the WGA should the leaders not move swiftly on the opening presented by the DGA deal template, the Verrone/Winship/Bowman message asks members for “patience” while they evaluate the deal.

“No matter what you think of the DGA’s tentative agreement, what is most important is that the Guilds East and West continue to work together in order to achieve our goal: a fair and just agreement for writers,” they advise.

Reading between the lines, tone of the message also seems to be an effort to reassure members that they intend to move quickly and seize the moment.

Here’s the entire message:

To Our Fellow Members,

As you know, the Directors Guild announced yesterday that it has reached a tentative agreement with the AMPTP.  We are waiting for the full terms of the deal to be made available so that we can carefully analyze and evaluate the language and numbers.  Until then, members can review the DGA’s press release at http://dga.org/negotiations/index.php.

The East Council, the West Board, and the Contract Negotiating Committee will all be meeting soon to discuss the DGA deal and our next steps.   We also will be scheduling a membership meeting  to inform you and hear your questions and concerns as more information becomes available.

This is a critical juncture in our struggle. As this process unfolds, we ask for your patience.  No matter what you think of the DGA’s tentative agreement, what is most important is that the Guilds East and West continue to work together in order to achieve our goal: a fair and just agreement for writers.

For more than a month we have been urging the media conglomerates to return to the table and bargain in good faith.  Now that negotiations with the DGA are finished, the AMPTP has reached out to us to begin informal talks.  We are committed to moving the process forward to achieve the best contract possible.

Know, too, that we have signed four more agreements with important, independent feature producers.  They are Mandate Pictures, Bob Yari’s Sixth Floor Literary Properties, Overt Operations/Anonymous Content, and Sidney Kimmel Entertainment.  Each of these deals returns more people to work and provides further incentive to the conglomerates to settle our contract soon.

All East members are invited to a large rally on Friday, January 25th at the Time Warner Center, Columbus Circle, from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. Additional picketing information for next week can be found at www.wgaeast.org.

We look forward to working for you and with you as we move towards a successful resolution.   

We are all in this together.

Best,
John F. Bowman
Chair

WGA Negotiating Committee

Michael Winship
President

Writers Guild of America, East

Patric M. Verrone
President

Writers Guild of America, West