Programming

WGA STRIKE OFFICIALLY ENDS

Writers head back to work after WGA members vote 92.5% in favor of ending the strike 2/12/2008 02:04:00 PM Eastern

The Writers Guild of America membership voted overwhelmingly Tuesday to end the 100 day old strike, sending writers back to work on Wednesday as expected.

Of the 3,775 votes turned in on both coasts in person or via fax, 92.5% voted in favor of ending the work stoppage.

The earliest effect should be on the late night shows owned by struck companies like NBC and ABC. The shows hosted by Jay Leno, Conan O’Brien and Jimmy Kimmel can bring back their writers immediately and will now have access to the actors that shunned their shows out of solidarity during the strike.

The Tuesday vote was to end the strike; next the membership will vote to ratify the actual deal with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers. That will take place by mail as well as at February 25 membership meetings.

“We are profoundly aware of the economic loss these fourteen weeks have created not only for our members but so many other colleagues who work in the television and motion picture industries,” wrote WGA West president Patric Verrone and WGA East president Michael Winship in a letter to members following the vote. “Nonetheless, with the establishment of the WGA jurisdiction over new media and residual formulas based on distributor’s gross revenue (among other gains) we are confident that the results are a significant achievement not only for ourselves but the entire creative community, now and in the future.”

The vote was considered a formality after WGA brass on Sunday recommended the membership vote to end the strike and set the vote for Tuesday.

“This is a day of relief and optimism for everyone in the entertainment industry,” the AMPTP CEO's wrote in a statement. “We can now all get back to work, with the assurance that we have concluded two groundbreaking labor agreements - with our directors and our writers -- that establish a partnership through which our business can grow and prosper in the new digital age. The strike has been extraordinarily difficult for all of us, but the hardest hit of all have been the many thousands of businesses, workers and families that are economically dependent on our industry.”  

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