WGA, Guild Impasse Continues


The Writers Guild of America East and West had their first face-to-face negotiations since November 1 with CBS over their protracted contract dispute, but the two still didn't meet.

According to a WGA reading of the talks, CBS did not modify its last proposal, which was rejected by 99% of the guild members.

WGA says CBS also rejected a counterproposal from the union that would have modified the producer proposal, one of the key sticking points.

CBS had alread withdrawn its condition that could have taken producers out of the guild, but had said it then wanted them to be responsible for supervisory functions. The guild had proposed a six-month waiting period before the accountability kicked in, but CBS didn't want a grace period. Apparently, reducing that period from six to four months was the modification that CBS rejected.
Since the guild had asked for the meeting this week, the network was likely looking for more in the way of new proposals than it got.

The contract expired on April 1, 2005 and the almost two-year-old negotiations are over contracts affecting approximately 500 newswriters, editors, desk assistants, production assistants, graphic artists, promotion writers and researchers in New York, Washington, Chicago, and Los Angeles.

At an investor conference in Last Vegas Wednesday, Moonves said he was still hopeful the two sides could reach an agreement.