Writers Guild Members Vote Overwhelmingly to Authorize Strike

They approved of the work stoppage at a record-breaking 98 percent approval rate, inching Hollywood closer to a shutdown

Members of the Writers Guild of America—which has represented creators across the United States since 1933—on Monday authorized the means to strike with a record-breaking 98 percent approval among 9,000 voters.

With this move, union leaders could call for organization and a subsequent walkout when the Guild’s contract with major Hollywood studios expires in May.

“Our membership has spoken,” the Guild wrote in an email to its members and which was provided to LAMag. “Armed with this demonstration of unity and resolve, we will continue to work at the negotiating table to achieve a fair contract for all workers.”

This moment has been referred to as “existential” for the Guild and its members, who are positing that compensation for their work has plateaued despite the evolution of streaming programs. In fact, lead negotiators noted in an email last week to writers that “the survival of writing as a profession is at stake in this negotiation.”

Only two weeks remain before the contracts end and little to no progress has been made in the negotiation. The general report via the negotiating committee is that the studios are lending very little to the idea of “core economic issues” but rather smaller compromises.

In an email sent to the Times, the Guild noted that “in short, the studios have shown no sign that they intend to address the problems our members are determined to fix in this negotiation.”

This marks the first time the Guild has voted on a strike authorization since 2017, but a work stoppage was avoided after a deal was struck.

The last time the WGA went on strike was in 2007 when a walkout that spanned 100 days essentially shut down Hollywood. The strike authorization margin that year leaned 90 percent towards “yes.”

The WGA did not immediately respond to LAMag’s request on Monday for comment.

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