WGA strike to end Wednesday, writers authorized to return to work

Posted Tuesday, September 26, 2023 9:53:43 PM
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The 148-day strike by the Writers Guild of America will officially end on Wednesday morning. Guild leadership voted unanimously to recommend an agreement hammered out over the weekend.

The strike by the Writers Guild of America will officially end at 12:01 am PT on Wednesday. WGA leadership voted on Tuesday to end the strike and send its members back to work.

"Today, your Negotiating Committee, the WGAW Board and WGAE Council all voted unanimously to recommend the agreement," the guild said today of the tentative agreement worked out with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers on Sunday.

The new three-year deal gives writers increased minimum payments, increased health and pension contributions, and significant protections in how artificial intelligence (AI) is used in the writing process.

The full membership of the guild will still need to vote to approve the new contract. That vote will take place October 2 through 9. If, for some unforeseen reason, members reject the new contract, the strike would resume.

The 11,000 members of the guild are now permitted to return to work -- which includes "pitching, selling scripts, taking meetings," and "responding to notes," according to the Hollywood Reporter.

As for the writers that were hired during the strike to keep the soaps on the air? They could technically remain employed. Per the Strike Termination Agreement, "no replacement writer hired during the strike period shall be retained on a show over a striking writer who offers to return to work on the same show on which he or she was employed when the strike began.

At 148 days, the strike is just five days shy of the guild's longest ever -- a 153-day strike in 1988.

Meanwhile, actors remain on strike. Members of SAG-AFTRA walked out July 14, two weeks after their contract expired on June 30. Soap actors are part of a different contract and are permitted to continue working during the strike.

Are you glad that the two sides have reached a deal? Have you noticed a difference to the writing on your soap(s)? We want to hear from you -- so drop your comments in the Comments section below, tweet about it on Twitter, share it on Facebook, or chat about it on our Message Boards.

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