The striking Writers Guild of America telegraphs its new strategy this morning via an unbylined article in Variety: legally force the individual media companies into direct talks, bypassing the Association of Motion Picture and Television Producers. The WGA said in a message to members on Saturday it will make a “legal demand” Monday that the studios bargain individually with the guild.
CBS has already given David Letterman its blessing to negotiate individually with the guild, but spokesman Chris Ender warned the WGA “should not confuse the fact that CBS remains unified with the [Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers] and committed to working with the member companies to reach a fair and reasonable agreement with the WGA.”
As for its “legal demand,” it’s unclear from the press what legal ground the WGA is standing on. The WGA filed a formal complaint with the National labour Relations board Thursday. The NLR can force talks over issues of compensation, but can’t mandate them over union jurisdiction — specifically the WGA’s desire to extend its oversight to reality TV and animation, a key reason the talks broke down last week.
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