UPDATE — The Writers Guild of America West is suspending “non-essential” member meetings and events after calling off a membership meeting scheduled for Tuesday night at the Hollywood Palladium as a precaution against the coronavirus.
The WGA West notified its 10,000 members Wednesday afternoon that it was taking the action in the best interests of its members, adding that it has suspended screenings at the Writers Guild Theatre in Beverly Hills. It also said the WGA West headquarters would remain open to support core functions and strategic campaigns.
The WGA had said on Tuesday that its negotiating committee will not hold face-to-face meetings with members and will instead share the information about the upcoming negotiations via email over the next two weeks. The guild notified its 10,000 members about the decision on Tuesday.
The WGA and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers are scheduled to begin bargaining on March 23. The current three-year deal expires on May 1.
The move comes a day after SAG-AFTRA suspended all in-person union meetings to help stop the spread of coronavirus. The performers union announced the move as part of “social-distancing tactics to help reduce the possibility of potential exposure or transmission through travel and attendance at face-to-face meetings.”
On March 7, leaders of the Directors Guild of America approved a three-year successor deal to the DGA master contract, triggering a ratification vote by the 18,000 members. The DGA revealed that the agreement includes a significant increase in residuals for high-budget streaming content, pension, wages and TV creative rights.
The AMPTP will likely propose that the WGA and SAG-AFTRA accept terms and conditions similar to those in the DGA deal.