The members of UNI Global Union affiliates the Writers Guild of America East (WGAE) and Writers Guild of America West (WGAW) have ratified a groundbreaking contract with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP). The agreement, which ended a near five-month strike, includes pioneering protections on the use of Generative AI, establishes minimum staffing levels for TV productions and provides significant increases in remuneration, including new mechanisms which address the impacts of streaming.
An overwhelming 99 per cent of WGA members voted to ratify the contract. Of the 8,525 valid votes cast there were 8,435 “yes” votes and 90 “no” votes (1per cent). The term of the new agreement runs from 25 September 2023 until 1 May 2026.
“Through solidarity and determination, we have ratified a contract with meaningful gains and protections for writers in every sector of our combined membership,” said WGAW President Meredith Stiehm. “Together, we were able to accomplish what many said was impossible only six months ago. We would not have been able to achieve this industry-changing contract without WGA Chief Negotiator Ellen Stutzman, Negotiating Committee co-chairs Chris Keyser and David A. Goodman, the entire WGA Negotiating Committee, strike captains, lot coordinators, and the staff that supported every part of the negotiation and strike.”
“Now it’s time for the AMPTP to put the rest of the town back to work by negotiating a fair contract with our SAG-AFTRA siblings, who have supported writers throughout our negotiations,” said WGAE President Lisa Takeuchi Cullen. “Until the studios make a deal that addresses the needs of performers, WGA members will be on the picket lines, walking side-by-side with SAG-AFTRA in solidarity.”
During its Philadelphia Congress, UNI held solidarity actions with the writers, and helped organize global solidarity
from entertainment unions around the globe. We are joining the writers’ unions in calling on the AMPTP to stop stalling negotiations for a fair contract with SAG-AFTRA.
“The contract is a huge union win on generative AI, and it will not be the last. Other workers urgently need the kinds of safeguards negotiated by the WGA,” Christy Hoffman, General Secretary of UNI Global Union, recently wrote in Fast Company
. “The labour movement has a long tradition of regulating the use of new technologies to curb abuses and share the benefits, but this victory feels like a turning point in a new era.
To read more about the gains for writers in the new WGA agreement, read the summary