The Writers Guild Of America just sent this email to members:

December 4, 2007
Fellow Guild Members:

Rumors, half-truths, and misinformation about what is actually happening at the bargaining table fly across the internet, are posted on blogs, passed across picket lines like a game of telephone, and appear in stories and advertisements in the trade papers.

So, to clarify exactly where we are, we have prepared a report and analysis, which you can read in its entirety [here].

In the meantime, here’s a brief summary:

The latest WGA proposal would cost the companies $151 million over three years. It is reasonable, serious, and easily affordable. For instance, it would cost Sony only $1.68 million per year. Paramount and CBS would each pay only $4.66 million per year. MGM would pay only $320,000 per year.

The AMPTP claims its proposal would give us $130 million over three years. Our analysis – and again, please visit the website to see for yourself – tells us their offer is worth only $32 million. But if you factor in the companies’ regressive proposal on “promotional use” (streaming TV shows and feature films in their entirety for free) writers could potentially lose $100 million in income over the course of this contract.

So while we don’t see how their proposal adds up to anywhere near $130 million, we greet their public willingness to make such an offer with real interest. If the AMPTP is serious about this figure, the WGA is confident we are closer to a deal than anyone has suggested, and we are hopeful that the companies will respond positively to our proposal, which is a serious, reasonable, and affordable attempt to bridge the gap between us.

Sincerely,

John F. Bowman
Chair, WGA Negotiating Committee