Few issues divided the WGA more than the leadership’s post-strike publication on April 18th of the names of its 28 members who went fi-core during the strike. After the WGA’s solidarity during the strike itself, I was flabbergasted by the huge schism which WGA West president Patric Verrone and WGA East president Michael Winship created with their letter. It turns out that the AMPTP took advantage of the discord and filed a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board, which has now sided with the Hollywood CEO negotiating clique against the WGA.
The NLRB focused on one sentence in that WGA statement: “…this handful of members who went financial core, resigning from the union yet continuing to receive the benefits of a union contract, must be held at arm’s length by the rest of us and judged accountable for what they are — strikebreakers whose actions placed everything for which we fought so hard at risk.” Was this the WGA urging members to shun the “puny few”, most of whom were soap opera producer-writers? So now the NLRB ruling, which overturned a earlier decision in favor of the WGA by the labor body’s regional director, results in a hearing before an administrative law judge in Los Angeles sometime in the next few months. The WGA had this statement: “This is a pending legal matter and the Guild will defend itself fully at the NLRB hearing.”
You may recall that during the strike, the AMPTP posted on its website details explaining how WGA members could go fi-core. The AMPTP’s complaint to the NLRB claimed that the WGA was lobbying for a “prohibited retaliation” against its fi-core writers for exercising their rights and seeking to prevent them from securing work. The WGA in turn accused the AMPTP of meddling in its internal affairs.
Meanwhile, I hear that the WGA in coming weeks will decide what to do about members accused of strikebreaking who’ve been quietly brought before the guild to explain themselves for months and months now. I have been quietly following several of these cases, and waiting for their resolutions, before going public with my info.