They won the PR war hands-down, but it appears the Writers Guild of America has squandered any leverage it once had, and is now looking desperate. The union, unable to get Hollywood producers to return to the bargaining table, filed a complaint with National labour Relations board Thursday, a move even former WGA attorney Jonathan Handel called “ill-considered and inflammatory” and likely to shut-down any back channel talks.
The latest round of talks broke down last Friday not over digital revenues but over the WGA’s other big demand–to represent writers on reality shows, which, of course, are scripted. Now it appears that the studios will start talking to the 13,500-member Director’s Guild of America before it returns to the table with the WGA. The DGA’s contract is set to expire next summer; it had been waiting to commence talks to see what happened with the writers. Now they know.
Can’t emphasise this enough: One of the reasons that Hollywood has been unwilling to play nice with the WGA is because it wants to set an example for the other unions who might dare think of asking for a bigger piece themselves.
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