All Over But the Voting for Striking Writers
Posted on February 11, 2008
Now that the leadership has voted to approved the tentative deal with the AMPTP, the membership must vote by Tuesday whether to end the strike. If all goes as expected, writers will be back at work Wednesday. Most showrunners are already back at work today.
Moving one step closer to ending the 4-month-old strike, the board of the Writers Guild of America unanimously blessed this morning the tentative accord reached last week with the studios.It appears that everyone will go back to work this week and the Oscars will proceed as originally planned on February 24th. That's a very good thing. The deal isn't perfect, but it gives writers so much more than they had before. We think that the Golden Globes disaster was the turning point for the studios. If the Oscars don't happen, that's one billion people around the globe that don't see what is essentially a three and a half hour commercial for Hollywood's products, which would really hurt the bottom line.
The endorsement paves the way for writers to return to work on Wednesday, pending a vote by the guild's membership to lift the strike order on Tuesday. The guild's 10,500 movie and TV writers covered by this contract are expected to ratify the new three-year agreement within 10 days.
Hollywood's top show runners, however, can return to work Monday in their capacity as producers, which includes hiring crews and getting their series ready to shoot. The strike shut down more than 60 shows and idled thousands of production workers who are anxious to return to their jobs.
Many had expected the strike to end Monday. But at a well-attended membership meeting at the Shrine Auditorium on Saturday night, Patric Verrone, president of WGA, West, told 3,500 writers that the board would not lift the strike without letting them vote on it Tuesday.