Hollywood strike called off!
Mo, 14.05.2001, Marcel Lanthemann
The threat of strike action from the 1st June continues to loom large over Hollywood. However, the first of a series of strikes, this time by script writers, has for the time being at least been averted. The studios are now hoping that the agreement could set a precedent and ultimately prevent the threatened strike by actors going ahead.
After weeks of negotiations The Writers Guild of America (WGA) and the Alliance of Motion Picture & Television Producers have called off their strike in pursance of more pay. According to WGA President, Mike Mahern, basic improvements have been agreed without the strike action going ahead. The settlements means that WGA-members will receive an annual salary rise of 3.5 per cent in addition to profit sharing from revenues derived from the sale of videos, DVDs and programmes broadcast overseas. Mahern calculates that during the three-year duration of the new contract WGA members will receive an additional 41 mil. dollars in income. Now it is the turn of the 11,500 members of the scriptwriters association to broker an agreement. The old salary agreement expired on 1st May and since no agreement has been reached since negotiations began in January 2001, the trade unions have threatened strike action. For Hollywood bosses the prospect of a strike has been an ever-present theme: They are also locked in difficult negotiations with the actors' guild. The existing agreement is due to run its course on 30 June. If the actors live up to their threat of strike action the cameras would suddenly fall silent.