Leadership of the WGA told their members today that negotiations for a new film and contract have been put on hold and that the current pact might be extended due to the coronavirus pandemic. The message from the guild’s negotiating committee confirms a report here yesterday on the postponement of the talks.
Here is the group’s message to its members:
“Although we had originally planned to meet with the AMPTP beginning March 23rd, given the current health crisis we cannot effectively negotiate this important three-year agreement in our usual fashion,” the negotiating committee said. “It may not be possible to conclude a new contract by May 1st, nor will we be asking you for a strike authorization vote in the interim. Even if no new contract is in place by May 1st, writers can continue working under the 2017 agreement. We are discussing several options with the companies, including a potential contract extension, but we think it is most sensible to continue to evaluate the constantly – it seems hourly – changing situation before making a decision about the most strategically optimal way forward.
“This is not a time for rash decisions or pressured outcomes. Instead we are conferring with public health authorities, financial analysts, other guilds and unions, legislators, benefit fund experts and others to gather information as the situation continues to evolve.
“The Negotiating Committee continues to meet regularly – via teleconference – to discuss options. Although we realize that members would like to know exactly what will happen and when, those determinations may take some time, so we ask for your patience and understanding. The committee is determined to make the best possible decision about the path forward. Rest assured, we will continue to put writers’ health and their current and future well-being above all else. To avoid unnecessary anxiety and confusion, please remember the only reliable source of information about these MBA negotiations is your Guild.
“We hope this email finds you all doing as well as can be expected in this time of uncertainty and instability.”