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Negotiations Need to Start by April 20 – Variety

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Hollywood studios have advised the Writers Guild of America that contract negotiations, which have been delayed as a result of coronavirus epidemic, want to start by April 20.

Carol Lombardini, president of the Alliance of Movement Image and Tv Producers made the request Wednesday in a letter to David Younger, govt director of the Writers Guild of America West. She famous that the AMPTP has agreed to extending the present contract expiration by two months from Might 1 to June 30. The WGA had no fast response.

“I hope you proceed to be properly as all of us take care of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Lomdardini mentioned. “The aim of this letter is to comply with up on our dialog of April 3, 2020, and to induce the Guild to take the required steps to make sure that we’ve got ample time to barter a successor settlement to the 2017 Theatrical and Tv Fundamental Settlement, which expires on Might 1, 2020, solely 4 weeks from now.”

“As , the AMPTP responded to your request to increase the Might 1, 2020, expiration date of the 2017 WGA Theatrical and Tv Fundamental Settlement (“MBA”) by providing to increase the contract till June 30, 2020, an eight-week extension. Usually, negotiations between the AMPTP and the WGA take 4 to 5 weeks; our proposed date permits roughly double the period of time (ten weeks) to succeed in an settlement. In our April third phone dialog, you indicated that the WGA stays undecided on our prompt extension date, and once I requested after we might anticipate a response, you mentioned “someday” earlier than Might 1. We discover that response unacceptable.”

“Whereas the pandemic has disrupted all varieties of enterprise and has been notably arduous on our trade, it’s incumbent on us to search out new methods to get our work performed. Within the case of negotiations, we imagine this may simply be completed by exchanging proposals as we usually do and conducting the negotiations via video and telephonic conferences. Shifting ahead with the aim of reaching an settlement by June 30 is important to guard the tens of 1000’s of people that depend upon this trade for a livelihood, together with writers represented by the WGA. Each of us share the accountability of making the situations that may make it doable for them –- lots of whom have suffered extreme hardships within the type of lack of earnings and entry to medical health insurance -– to return to work in an setting that allows them to earn a dwelling with out concern of additional disruption,” Lombardini mentioned.

“To that finish, the AMPTP-represented Corporations suggest that we change proposals by April 15, 2020 and start negotiations by April 20, 2020 by way of video convention,” she concluded. “For functions of scheduling, we can be found to satisfy at occasions throughout the week of April 20th and thereafter as agreed. We respectfully ask that you just present us with the dates on which your bargaining committee is obtainable in order that we could arrange a bargaining schedule and work earnestly towards reaching an settlement.”

The WGA has solely mentioned that it “continues to guage choices” for conducting contract talks with Hollywood’s main studios that have been supposed to start out on March 23 till coronavirus prevention measures made it unattainable to carry face-to-face bargaining classes.

“We’re contemplating that and different choices, however have made no proposal,” a guild spokesman mentioned on April 2.

Leaders of the WGA advised its members on March 24 that they may very well be pressured to increase the present contract past its present Might 1 expiration as a result of coronavirus pandemic and that they’d not search a strike authorization from members previous to Might 1: “Though we had initially deliberate to satisfy with the AMPTP starting March 23, given the present well being disaster we can’t successfully negotiate this necessary three-year settlement in our ordinary trend. It might not be doable to conclude a brand new contract by Might 1, nor will we be asking you for a strike authorization vote within the interim.”

Information of the letter from Lombardini was first reported by Deadline.

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