Memo Tells Writers Guild Captains to ‘Be Ready to Strike Tuesday’

With contract negotiations going down to the wire, leaders of the Writers Guild of America have been laying the groundwork for a strike action on Tuesday.

“Be ready to strike Tuesday May 2. If you’ve left anything great in your office on a studio lot, consider packing it up on Monday – just in case,” said a memo sent from one of the strike captains to the others.

Picketing will take place at eight studios in three shifts a day, according to the memo. The missive recaps a meeting held by the captains on Saturday and quotes Chris Keyser — one of the three chairmen of the WGA negotiating committee.

“We know this is anxiety producing,” Keyser said in the memo. “We’re asking everyone to live in the anxiety with us for the next few days.”

The WGA held hundreds of pickets and rallies during the 2007-08 strike. Several thousand members and supporters attended a rally at Fox Plaza and a march on Hollywood Boulevard.

Negotiators for the WGA and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers are resuming negotiations in a rare Sunday session with less than 48 hours before the midnight PT Monday contract expiration.

The memo said that the deadline could be extended. “Negotiations could go for a few days after May 1 (hopefully this would mean a deal is in sight – but it might not),” it noted.

The memo also said that the specific times and locations have not been set. “The goal is to be flexible geography-wise for members,” it added.

The missive also urged recipients to invoice studios before Tuesday for any money owed.

A spokesman for the WGA West clarified the memo was not an official communication with the members, adding, “The Writers Guild has not issued any memos to members or updates on the status of negotiations.”

Here is the entire memo:

Hi Everyone,

I hope you’re all doing well. There was a strike captains meeting at the Guild this AM, and I am officially reporting back.

1.) From leadership: thank you as a Guild for your amazing solidarity. The results were 96.3% “yes” on an SAV. You gave our team the best negotiating tool possible. In a time where labor is threatened in the country, it was an inspiring act of unity.

2.) There is officially no news. There is a press black-out until this round of negotiations is over.
Negotiations could go down to the wire, until the clock strikes midnight on Monday May 1.

3.) Negotiations could go for a few days after May 1 (hopefully this would mean a deal is in sight – but it might not)

4.) Be ready to strike Tuesday May 2. If you’ve left anything great in your office on a studio lot, consider packing it up on Monday – just in case.

5.) Again, be ready to strike if necessary.
6.) The Guild leadership (Chris Keyser) said, “We know this is anxiety producing. We’re asking everyone to live in the anxiety with us for the next few days.” That’s how a deal will get done.

7.) Member meetings & next steps will happen after we have a deal or May 2nd. There isn’t a schedule yet because the Guild is waiting for negotiations to wrap. (Showrunners, if you want to talk strike rules in the next few days, call Ann Farriday.)

8.) If necessary, pickets will be at 8 studios, 3 shifts per day. The goal is to be flexible geography-wise for members. Also, there are always shifts at headquarters manning phones for anyone with physical issues.


10.) Tuesday means “pencils down” as well as “Avids off.” This year, strike rules will mean: no editing, no production, no shooting – no A-H duties.

11.) As we fight for our union, there is a May 1 Pro-Labor march planned in Los Angeles. It would be great if WGA members went and repped labor. T-shirts available now at WGA headquarters.

Hopeful note? The AMPTP took a break to go back and talk to their respective CEOs (they didn’t break off negotiations – just went to go talk to corporate bosses and will be back at the table Monday). Maybe this is good. Maybe not. We’ll know more early Tuesday AM.


Popular on Variety

More Film

  • The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon

    Film News Roundup: Stephen King's 'Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon' Movie in the Works

    In today’s film news roundup, a Stephen King horror movie is in the works, “Downton Abbey” is seeing strong sales and a project about Revolutionary War soldier Deborah Sampson is in development. KING ADAPTATION Stephen King’s “The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon” has been set up as a movie at George A. Romero’s Sanibel Films, [...]

  • Moviepass

    MoviePass Confirms Security Issue With Customer Records

    MoviePass, the struggling movie ticket subscription service, has confirmed a security issue may have exposed customers’ records. In a statement, MoviePass said Wednesday that the security lapse was recently discovered and its system was immediately secured. Reports of the data breach first surfaced Tuesday through the Tech Crunch site, which alleged that tens of thousands [...]

  • Matthew Modine

    Matthew Modine Accused of Violating Labor Laws With Campaign Videos

    Matthew Modine has been accused by SAG-AFTRA president Gabrielle Carteris of violating federal laws in his campaign to unseat Carteris. The production of three campaign videos for Modine by the for-profit New York Film Academy — on whose board Modine sits — has been blasted by Carteris for alleged violations of federal labor law prohibiting [...]

  • Ready or Not Movie

    'Ready or Not,' 'Angel Has Fallen' Enter Box Office Race

    Three more contenders are joining what has lately been a hostile box office arena. Can anyone emerge from August victorious? Fox Searchlight’s “Ready or Not,” a black comedy about a diabolical game of hide-and-seek, will debut in 2,244 North American theaters on Wednesday. The low-budget film is expected to earn upwards of $6.5 million over [...]

  • Rules Don't Apply

    Warren Beatty and Arnon Milchan Settle Suit Over 'Rules Don't Apply' Flop

    Arnon Milchan and Warren Beatty have settled their two-year legal battle over the disastrous release of “Rules Don’t Apply,” Beatty’s period drama about Howard Hughes. Milchan’s attorneys have filed a notice with the court dismissing his suit against Beatty. Terms of the settlement were not disclosed. Milchan’s company, New Regency, sued Beatty and other investors [...]

  • Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro attends a

    Bolsonaro LGBTQI Outburst, Subsidy Freeze, Stirs Outrage

    Ramping up the drive into censorship in Brazil, its Minister of Citizenship, Omar Terra, has suspended a call for applications for governmental TV funding – until new criteria are established for its application. The country’s secretary for culture, Henrique Pires, who reports to Terra, has resigned in protest of the incentive freeze. The suspension, for [...]

  • Adam Brody'Ready or Not' film premiere,

    Adam Brody to Executive Produce, Star in 'The Kid Detective'

    “Ready or Not’s” Adam Brody has signed on to star in “The Kid Detective.” Sophie Nelisse will co-star in the dramedy from writer-director Evan Morgan. Brody will star as a once-celebrated kid detective, now 31, who continues to solve the same trivial mysteries between hangovers and bouts of self-pity until a 16-year-old client (Nelisse) brings [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content