Unionized film and TV writers voted overwhelmingly to empower their leaders to call a strike if they cannot reach an agreement on a new contract.
In an email to members on Monday, the Writers Guild of America’s negotiating committee said nearly 98 percent of the 9,218 votes were in favor of the strike, with nearly 79 percent of guild members voting. The association is currently negotiating an agreement with the Union of Film and Television Producers aimed at addressing pay and other changes brought about by the streaming service’s dominance.
“Our members have spoken out,” the email read. “You have expressed your collective strength, solidarity and need for meaningful change.”
The screenwriter’s three-year contract expires on May 1, and leaders could call for a strike the next day, though the deadline could be extended if the two sides come closer to an agreement.
Issues in the negotiations include pay, the ability of writers to work on different shows while other projects are down, and typeThe use of artificial intelligence in the screenwriting process.
The Motion Picture and Television Producers Union, which negotiates for studios, streaming services and production companies, said in a statement Monday that “the strike authorization vote has always been part of the WGA’s plans and was announced even before the parties exchanged proposals. It The inevitable ratification should come as no surprise to anyone.”
“Our aim is, and will continue to be, to reach a fair and reasonable agreement,” the statement said.
The writers voted in nearly equal numbers for a similar strike authorization in 2017, but reached an agreement before calling the strike. The last time the guild went on strike was in 2007.
Labor Party Film and Television