While contract negotiations between the Writers Guild of America and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers are still underway, the WGA’s members have just gotten one step closer to striking should this round of talks not resolve before May.
Deadline reports that an overwhelming majority (97 percent) of the WGA’s members voted today to authorize a strike — a move that empowers the WGA West Board and the WGA East Council to call for a strike if the WGA and the AMPTP can’t agree upon a fair labor contract by May 1st. (Disclosure: The Verge’s editorial staff is represented by the Writers Guild of America East.) Of the WGA’s eligible voting members, 9,020 voted in favor of the strike authorization, while 198 opposed. In an email to members, the WGA said that the results sent a clear message and set new records “for both participation and the percentage of support in a strike authorization vote.”
“Our membership has spoken,” the guild said. “You have expressed your collective strength, solidarity and the demand for meaningful change in overwhelming numbers. Armed with this demonstration of unity and resolve, we will continue to work at the negotiating table to achieve a fair contract for all writers.”
The WGA has been pushing the AMPTP for a new labor contract that better compensates writers across the board, increases pay minimums, and establishes a new formula to determine the amount of residuals people are paid for their work on streaming projects. The AMPTP has said that it wants to “reach a fair and reasonable agreement,” but earlier today, ahead of the election results, it preemptively dismissed the approval as having “always been part of the WGA’s plan” and said that the results “should come as no surprise to anyone.”