With the AMPTP and WGA talks breaking down last week, the Directors Guild of America has the option to step in and start its own negotiations with the AMPTP to try to come to an agreement that could be used by the WGA as well if that is something they choose to do. DGA president Michael Apted and negotiations chair Gil Cates released the following statement today, which says they are going to hold off until the new year:
Although the DGA has a long history of early negotiations, this year we held off starting our own formal talks with the AMPTP for two months out of respect for our sister guild. Instead, we watched the writers’ negotiations closely while preparing for our turn at bat.
We are deeply disappointed by the breakdown of talks between the WGA and the AMPTP with no end to the strike in sight. Like everyone else in the industry, we had hoped that the two parties would be able to reach a fair and reasonable deal that adequately compensates talent for the work they create.
But now the situation is dire. The WGA-AMPTP impasse has cost the jobs of tens of thousands of entertainment-industry workers, including many of our own members, and more lose their jobs every day the strike continues. With so much at stake and no end to the standoff in sight, we can no longer abdicate our responsibility to our own members. Because we want to give the WGA and the AMPTP more time to return to the negotiating table to conclude an agreement, the DGA will not schedule our negotiations to begin until after the New Year, and then, only if an appropriate basis for negotiations can be established. If that’s the case, then the DGA will commence formal talks in the hope that a fresh perspective and the additional pressure we can bring to bear will help force the AMPTP to settle the issues before us in a fair and reasonable manner.