The governing boards of Hollywood’s writers union approved a new contract with the studios, sending the deal to a vote by members and authorizing workers to return to their jobs.
(Bloomberg) — The governing boards of Hollywood’s writers union approved a new contract with the studios, sending the deal to a vote by members and authorizing workers to return to their jobs.
The board of the Writers Guild of America West and the council that oversees the Writers Guild of America East said their strike will end at 12:01 a.m. Los Angeles time on Wednesday. Union members will now vote on the new contract, with balloting scheduled to end Oct. 9, the groups said in a statement.
With the two bodies authorizing a vote, union leadership provided members with a copy of the tentative agreement, including pay, the so-called residuals that members will get from reruns and staffing levels.
The writers got a boost in their minimum wages of 5% in the first year. For the first time the studios will share viewer data for programs on streaming services with the union on a confidential basis. Writers of shows that reach at least 20% of domestic viewers in their first 90 days on a streaming service will get bonus payments, another first.
A minimum of at least three writers working for ten weeks will be employed on shows, something the union had been pushing for. In another major deal point, the studios have assured writers that screenplays will be credited to a human being, and the writers won’t be replaced by artificial intelligence.
The 11,500-member writers union and studios including Walt Disney Co. and Netflix Inc. reached a new labor agreement on Sept. 24 following days of intense talks aimed at ending a strike that began on May 2.
The writers went on strike for the first time since 2007 to fight for higher pay from streaming services, which have reshaped how TV is made and how talent gets paid. The Screen Actors Guild joined them in July over similar concerns.
(Updates with terms beginning in fourth paragraph.)
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