After 146 days on strike and five consecutive days of negotiations, both parties have tentatively agreed on a new three-year contract, with guild leaders expected to vote on the final pact and strike lift on Tuesday.
That’s a wrap! Fingers crossed. The WGA has reached an agreement with AMPTP, effectively putting an end in sight to the painful 146-day strike, according to Variety. The two parties penned a new three-year contract on Sunday after five consecutive days of negotiations.
While talks had previously stalled, Disney’s Bob Iger, NBCUniversal’s Donna Langley, Netflix’s Ted Sarandos and David Zaslav of Warner Bros. Discovery participated in this round of negotiations, finally moving forward through the deadlock.
“We can say, with great pride, that this deal is exceptional – with meaningful gains and protections for writers in every sector of the membership,” the WGA’s negotiating committee wrote in an email sent to members at 7:10 p.m. PT last night.
The strike will remain in effect while the contract is approved and ratified, with guild leaders expected to vote on the final pact and strike lift on Tuesday. “To be clear, no one is to return to work until specifically authorized to by the Guild. We are still on strike until then,” the message to members stated. If the board of WGA West and the council of WGA East both approve, the contract will then be ratified by WGA’s 11,000 members.
While many are excited to hear the terms, the contract will not be released until final language is completed. “Though we are eager to share the details of what has been achieved with you, we cannot do that until the last ‘i’ is dotted,” the message to members stated. “To do so would complicate our ability to finish the job. So, as you have been patient with us before, we ask you to be patient again – one last time.”
The WGA Negotiating Committee issued a statement informing members a pact had been reached:
“We have reached a tentative agreement on a new 2023 MBA, which is to say an agreement in principle on all deal points, subject to drafting final contract language.
What we have won in this contract – most particularly, everything we have gained since May 2nd – is due to the willingness of this membership to exercise its power, to demonstrate its solidarity, to walk side-by-side, to endure the pain and uncertainty of the past 146 days. It is the leverage generated by your strike, in concert with the extraordinary support of our union siblings, that finally brought the companies back to the table to make a deal.
We can say, with great pride, that this deal is exceptional – with meaningful gains and protections for writers in every sector of the membership.”
SAG-AFTRA, which is currently deep in its own strike, was quick to commend the WGA on the deal.
“SAG-AFTRA congratulates the WGA on reaching a tentative agreement with the AMPTP after 146 days of incredible strength, resiliency, and solidarity on the picket lines. While we look forward to reviewing the WGA and AMPTP’s tentative agreement, we remain committed to achieving the necessary terms for our members,” the statement said. “Since the day the WGA strike began, SAG-AFTRA members have stood alongside the writers on the picket lines. We remain on strike in our TV/Theatrical contract and continue to urge the studio and streamer CEOs and the AMPTP to return to the table and make the fair deal that our members deserve and demand.”
With the WGA strike most likely coming to an end, SAG-AFTRA may soon follow suit as pressure rises with productions attempting to restart. As the issue of AI was a major pain point with both unions, it will be interesting to see how the problem was assuaged once the contract is released.