On a day when most of Hollywood (and myself) were out from behind their desks making plans for the coming holidays, the WGA was busy putting coal in Big Media’s Christmas stockings by filing charges with the National Labor Relations Board against the AMPTP “for its refusal to bargain in good faith” with the WGA.
“It is a clear violation of federal law for the AMPTP to issue an ultimatum and break off negotiations if we fail to cave to their illegal demands. We are in the midst of the holiday season, with thousands of our members and the membership of other unions out of work. It is the height of irresponsibility and intransigence for the AMPTP to refuse to negotiate a fair agreement with the WGA. We reiterate our demand that the AMPTP immediately return to the negotiations, rather than going on vacation, so that this town can be put back to work. The DGA announced today that it may commence negotiations with the AMPTP in January. The DGA has to do what is best for its membership, and we will do what is best for ours. We wish them well, but they do not represent writers. Our strike will end when the companies return to negotiations and make a fair deal with the WGA.”
The WGA move not only took Hollywood by surprise, it put the Hollywood moguls on the defensive. Immediately, the AMPTP fired back with this snarky statement: “The WGA’s filing of a complaint with the NLRB reminds us of the old lawyers’ adage: When the facts are on your side, argue the facts. When the law is on your side, argue the law. And when you don’t have either the law or the facts on your side, you pound the table. The WGA has now been reduced to pounding the table, and this baseless, desperate NLRB complaint is just the latest indication that the WGA’s negotiating strategy has achieved nothing for working writers.”