Programming

STRIKE UPDATE: Deadline at Hand, But Many Think WGA May Hold Off

Deadline Looms Thursday at 12:01 a.m. as Two Sides Report Little Progress 10/30/2007 04:48:00 PM Eastern

Negotiators for the Writers Guild of America and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers returned to the bargaining table Tuesday and apparently got no closer to striking a deal.

And while the Thursday 12:01 a.m. deadline is rapidly approaching, many industry insiders continue to believe that the WGA will not walk out immediately.

As to when they might strike if the sides are still far apart, that is still the subject of constant speculation throughout the industry.

“I can’t see them going right away,” one high-level industry executive said of the writers. “They lose a lot of leverage once they pull the trigger.”

Conjecture from high-level insiders close to both sides as to when the WGA would walk ranged from next week to January as the industry desperately tries to get a grasp on when and if the work stoppage could become a reality.

Following Tuesday’s session, which included a federal mediator, the WGA issued a statement typical of the continued public back and forth between the sides.

“Today's negotiations began at 10 a.m. No significant progress was made,” the statement read. “At 4:30 p.m., we informed the AMPTP that we would prepare a comprehensive package proposal for their review today. At 6:45 p.m., we told them the proposal would be ready in 15 minutes. Management negotiators responded by saying they preferred to leave for the day and hear our proposal tomorrow, the expiration date of our contract.”

The AMPTP issued the following statement: “Both sides worked on modifications to their proposals. The guild indicated that they were preparing a comprehensive package and would be ready to present it tomorrow. The mediator scheduled the meeting for 10 a.m. We are committed to a fair, reasonable and sensible agreement that is beneficial for everyone. However, opportunities do not come without challenges. We will not agree to any proposals that impose unreasonable restrictions and unjustified costs. We will not ignore the challenges of today’s economic realities, the shifts in audience taste and viewing habits and the unpredictability of still-evolving technology.

For full coverage of the strike, click here.

March