WGA Set to Divide… And Conquer?

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Deadline Hollywood has posted the latest memo to come out of the WGA and it is certainly one that will open eyes or shut mouths.

As rumor swirl as to whether or not the AMPTP and WGA will try and resolve their strike before the New Year a new strategy has just been revealed. Instead of dealing with the AMPTP which represents companies on a multi-employer basis, they are going to open the table to dealing with companies on an individual basis. Here is how it reads:

We want to do everything in our power to move negotiations forward and end this devastating strike. We have therefore decided to reach out to major AMPTP companies and begin to negotiate with them individually. As you may know, bargaining on a multi-employer basis through the AMPTP is an option for the WGA, not a legal requirement. Each signatory employer is required to bargain with us individually if we make a legal demand that it do so.

We will make this demand on Monday December 17th and hope that each company responds promptly, in accordance with the law.

The one thing I like about this is that it shows progress. However, I see a lot of potential for trouble.

First off, that is a lot of companies to be dealing with. Does this mean the WGA have to create a new agreement with every new production company that pops up out of nowhere? The reason for the AMPTP is to eliminate this hassle, but that is all it is, a hassle.

Secondly, what happens if the companies don’t respond promptly and in accordance with the law? What if they don’t respond at all? This is an aggressive and forward-thinking (or is it backward-thinking?) move by the WGA, but it does open them up to trouble in that if the companies decide not to deal on an individual basis the WGA must sonter back to the AMPTP, something I know they don’t want to do.

I do hope this gets things moving on one side or another. Whether the AMPTP comes to their senses and decides to haggle it out or if the companies decide to go one-on-one. One way or another someone needs to get this thing figured out.