UPDATED with WGA response, 1:19 PM: The Association of Talent Agents has reached out to the WGA to resume negotiations for a new franchise agreement. The two sides haven’t met at the bargaining table since March 27, and their current agreement is set to expire Saturday night at midnight PT.
“The time is long past for simply pushing paper across the table,” ATA executive director Karen Stuart said in an email sent today to WGA West executive director David Young. “Let us know when you and your committee are prepared to have a negotiation that addresses all of the outstanding issues.”
Responding hours later to the ATA’s offer to resume bargaining, the WGA was noncommittal. “We’re focused right now on meetings with individual agencies and will meet with the ATA when they make a meaningful reply to our last two offers,” the guild said.
On Wednesday, the guild sent the ATA several modifications to its original proposals but acknowledged that “none of them is major.” Stuart, however, told Young that wasn’t getting the two sides any closer to a deal. “We received your latest proposal, which is identical in all material aspects to the last proposal that is unacceptable to us,” she wrote.
The ATA’s move comes after the guild told its members on Wednesday that it “has not heard from the ATA since we gave them a comprehensive new proposal last week.”
WGA members voted overwhelmingly last weekend to authorize their leaders to implement a new Agency Code of Conduct if no deal is reached by the deadline. If the two sides can’t strike a deal, the WGA could order all of its members to fire their agents as soon as Sunday morning. Only agents who sign the Code would be exempted, and all of the major agencies have pledged that they won’t sign.
After the vote results were announced, the ATA said: “We look forward to getting back into the room to work through an agreement that serves the best interest of writers, respects their individual choice, and prevents unnecessary disruption to our industry. We stand ready and waiting.”
As of noon Friday, there were just 36 hours until the guild’s deadline.