WGA STRIKE UPDATE: WGA Tells Members Deal Not Done Despite Rumors

Although Sources Say Deal Is Near, Picketing to Resume Monday
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As rumors swirled over the weekend that an end to the three-month-old writers' strike was near, the Writers Guild of America sent a letter to its members Sunday saying that a deal was not yet done and that picketing will continue for the time being.

“The facts: We are still in talks and do not yet have a contract,” wrote WGA West president Patric Verrone and WGA East president Michael Winship in the joint letter. “When and if a tentative agreement is reached, the first thing we will do is alert our membership with an e-mail message. Until then, please disregard rumors about either the existence of an agreement or its terms.”

The letter also called for picketing to continue.

“Until we have reached an agreement with the AMPTP [Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers], it is essential that we continue to show our resolve, solidarity, and strength. Picketing will resume on Monday. Our leverage at the bargaining table is directly affected by your commitment to our cause. Please continue to show your support on the line.”

The letter comes on the heels of a weekend rife with rumors and reports that the three-month-old strike could end as soon as this week. Multiple sources said over the weekend that the sides are nearing a deal, although no one would speak on the record due to the media blackout imposed by both sides.

However, a similar round of speculation emerged at the National Association of Television Program Executives' convention by prominent executives early last week.

The date of Feb. 15 had been bandied about by industry insiders for weeks as an expected end to the strike. That would allow the Feb. 24 Academy Awards broadcast to go forward as planned and the networks to begin working on fall schedules and plans for selling in the upfront season.

Reports said this weekend that the sides have finally begun to bridge the gap over issues such as electronic sell-through and streaming of video over the Internet.

The Writers Guild of America has been on strike since Nov. 5.

For full coverage of the writers' strike, click here.