The last WGA strike ended 7 1/2 years ago, but guild members are paying for it even today: They still owe the guild nearly $500,000 in strike loans. According to the WGA’s latest financial report filed with the U.S. Department of Labor, 45 members owe the guild $491,000 in outstanding loans issued during the 14-week strike that ran from November 2007-February 2008. To date, only about $76,000 of the more than $567,000 loaned out has been repaid.
One writer still owes the guild $53,000, and another owes nearly $32,000. Three others owe more than $10,000; five owe more than $15,000; six owe more than $20,000; and another owes more than $25,000.
The loans are secured by future residuals, but it may take decades for the guild to recoup its money that way. It recently cashed a $4 residuals check from a writer who still owes nearly $3,500, a $5 residuals check from a writer who still owes $1,800, and an $11 residuals check from a writer who owes more than $5,000.
Over the past year, only four writers finished paying off their loans in full.