It’s official, as the members of the Writers Guild of America (WGA) have ratified their new three-year contract with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP), ending a strike that has gone on for five months.
A majority of WGA members — reportedly 99% of the 8,525 valid votes — cast their ballots in favor of ratifying the Minimum Basic Agreement. The Writers Guild of America West and Writers Guild of America West have roughly 11,000 members total, with an Email being sent to members stating that there were only 90 “no” votes to the 8,435 “yes” votes.
This ratification result comes two weeks after both sides struck a tentative agreement on Sept. 24, which ended the 148-day strike after going out on its first strike in 15 years on May 2 once the last contract expired. That’s the second-longest strike by the guild, leading to 100 days with no discussions between the two sides. On Sept. 20, the WGA’s chief negotiatior Ellen Stutzman, guild presidents David Goodman and Chris Keyser, and the rest of the WGA Negotiating Committee finally sat down with Warner Bros Discovery CEO David Zaslav, Netflix’s Ted Sarandos, NBCUniversal’s Donna Langley, and Disney’s Bob Iger.
Two days after that breakthrough deal was achieved, the WGA West Board and WGA East Council both voted unanimously to recommend the agreement to their members and sent it out for a vote with support from WGAW President Meredith Stiehm and WGAE President Lisa Takeuchi. The West Coast and East Coast boards then lifted the restraining order and ended the long strike as of 12:01 a.m. PT on September 27 with writers returning to work.
Both Stiehm and Takeuchi now praise the support its members gave the agreement, Stiehm saying, “Through solidarity and determination, we have ratified a contract with meaningful gains and protections for writers in every sector of our combined membership. 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,” added Takeuchi. “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.”
Meanwhile, SAG-AFTRA has started up its second week of talks with the AMPTP, and things are expected to run smoothly, with no picketing today due to the Indigenous Peoples’ Day holiday. UPDATE 10/10: Monday ended with no results and plans for negotiations to continue between SAG-AFTRA and AMPTP on Wednesday, Oct. 12.