Writers Guild Dismisses Latest AMPTP Proposal

ON

Just yesterday I wrote an article in which described the “New Economic Partnership” put forth by the AMPTP in an attempt to end the WGA strike. This new partnership was said to “deliver more than $130 million in additional compensation above and beyond the more than $1.3 billion writers already receive each year.” The WGA’s response was the proposal was “We’ll discuss and get back to you on December 4th.”

Well, that was yesterday, and this is today (not December 4th mind you), and the WGA has dismissed the new set of proposals according to “New York Times“.

The “Times” article says that both the WGA East and West proclaimed the proposal to be “inadequate.” Here is the rundown:

In a letter to members, however, the two guilds blasted the proposal as inadequate. They said, for instance, that it would pay only $250 for a year’s re-use of an hour-long program streamed on the Web, in contrast to the $20,000 currently paid for a network re-run. They also said the new proposal did not change the company’s proposed payments for downloaded films and shows. The guilds also said the companies refused to grant them jurisdiction over original content produced for the Internet.

Apparently there are two options now; 1) continue a long drawn out strike, or 2) return to work without a contract. Personally I had never heard a peep about the writers returning to work without a contract, but the “Times” suggests they may return only to begin striking once again come June when the SAG and DGA contracts expire.

The “Times” points out that the rest of this season’s television schedule will be destroyed should the strike continue any longer and I think it is safe to say that the films from Holiday 2008 through most of 2009 are already going to suffer due to the set back.

I still don’t think the AMPTP can make a deal with the writers prior to the SAG and DGA contracts only because a precedent will be set that they would most likely have to exceed for both the actors and directors. I think the AMPTP is lowballing the writers for just that reason… Who knows, maybe the studios will cave early, but unless they come back with something impressive I don’t see this thing resolving itself until at least mid-2008. I hope I am wrong.