Tentative Deal Averts Hollywood Writers’ Strike

LOS ANGELES (CN) – Two unions representing film and television writers reached a tentative agreement with Hollywood studios and producers Tuesday on terms for a new three-year collective bargaining agreement, avoiding what could have been a costly strike.

“Did we get everything we wanted? No. Everything we deserve? Certainly not,” the Writers Guild of America West said in a statement on its website. “But because we had the near-unanimous backing of you and your fellow writers, we were able to achieve a deal that will net this guild’s members $130 million more, over the life of the contract, than the pattern we were expected to accept.”

Last week, 96 percent of the Writers Guild of America East and West authorized the union to call a strike, giving it more bargaining power as it negotiated with film and television studios for raises and larger payments to their health plan.

The vote authorization gave union leaders the leverage to declare a strike on its members’ behalf.  The industry had feared that a strike would throw network television schedules into disarray. The last writers’ strike in 2007 lasted 100 days, forcing networks to take late-night shows off the air and fill their schedules with reruns.

That strike also caused delays to scripted comedy and drama, and cost Los Angeles up to $2.5 billion in losses.

The two unions negotiated the terms with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, a trade association representing the interests of more than 350 film and television companies.

In a one-sentence statement, the alliance and unions confirmed that a tentative deal had been reached.

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