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December 08, 2007

This isn't good. strike update.

The latest news is not good at all.

AMPTP BREAKS OFF NEGOTIATIONS

Today, after three days of discussions, the AMPTP came back to us with
a proposal that included a total rejection of our proposal on Internet
streaming of December 3.

They are holding to their offer of a $250 fixed residual for unlimited
one year streaming after a six-week window of free use. They still
insist on the DVD rate for Internet downloads.

They refuse to cover original material made for new media.

This offer was accompanied by an ultimatum: the AMPTP demands we give
up several of our proposals, including Fair Market Value (our
protection against vertical integration and self-dealing), animation,
reality, and, most crucially, any proposal that uses distributor's
gross as a basis for residuals. This would require us to concede most
of our Internet proposal as a precondition for continued bargaining.

The AMPTP insists we let them do to the Internet what they did to home
video. We received a similar ultimatum through back channels prior to
the discussions of November 4. At that time, we were assured that if
we took DVD's off the table, we would get a fair offer on new media
issues. That offer never materialized.

We reject the idea of an ultimatum. Although a number of items we
have on the table are negotiable, we cannot be forced to bargain with
ourselves. The AMPTP has many proposals on the table that are
unacceptable to writers, but we have never delivered ultimatums.

As we prepared our counter-offer, at 6:05 p.m., Nick Counter came and
said to us, in the mediator's presence: "We are leaving. When you
write us a letter saying you will take all these items off the table,
we will reschedule negotiations with you."

Within minutes, the AMPTP had posted a lengthy statement announcing
the breakdown of negotiations.

We remain ready and willing to negotiate, no matter how intransigent
our bargaining partners are, because the stakes are simply too high.
We were prepared to counter their proposal tonight, and when any of
them are ready to return to the table, we're here, ready to make a
fair deal.

John F. Bowman
Chairman, WGA Negotiating Committee
Contract 2007

Posted by jason on December 8, 2007 01:44 PM

Comments

This sounds ugly.

Posted by: Anonymous on December 8, 2007 10:59 PM

So how can the common man, who is outside the writer's guild help? Are there listings of people in the studios that we can call to tell them they need to give more to the writers, kind of like how you can call your political representative and complain?

Posted by: chris on December 8, 2007 11:41 PM

You could dress up like a Viking and picket . . .

Posted by: Xerxes on December 10, 2007 10:33 PM

An excellent idea indeed!

Posted by: chris on December 11, 2007 06:34 AM

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