WGA Strike On Its Way To Being Averted?By Amy
February 27, 2001 - 8:36 PM
With the threat of industry-crippling strikes behind them if they fail, the negotiations that have so dominated Hollywood for the past months continue - slowly, but with brightening prospects on at least one front, even if things are remaining more or less the same on the other.
Though both sides have refused to talk about how things are progressing, a Variety source has reported that negotiators for both the Writers Guild of America and the industry are becoming more optimistic about reaching an agreement. This comes after the WGA's decision to extend talks past the original two-week deadline at the beginning of the month and two weeks later when new, re-vamped proposals hit the table.
However, it's not all roses for the WGA negotiations - for a start, both sides have to convince their own sticklers to compromise. Also, there are still large gaps between what the WGA is demanding and what the industry is willing to give - and what they say they can afford to give in a purely economic sense. So large are these differences that many industry analysts expect the strike to happen despite the progress currently being made.
A group that isn't compromising, however, is the Screen Actors Guild, who have refused to even consider the idea of a four-month extension to the current film and TV contract. They do have a vaild reasoning for this though, namely that agreeing to the extension could weaken both their own position come time and that of the WGA. However, they too are positive about avoiding the strike so many see as inevitable - Brian Walton, the guild's chief negotiator, is quoted as saying that there's no "solid reason not to find" "a fair and progressive result". No date has been set yet for talks between the SAG (who are also negotiating on behalf of the American Federation of Television & Radio Artists) and the industry, but the current contract is set to expire on the last day of June this year.
For more information on the progress of the WGA talks, it's suggested that your read this Variety report, while Zap2It.com has this brief report on the SAG scene (thanks to the Trekker Newsletter for the link). More background information on the strikes can be found here and a look at how, if they go ahead, they could affect Star Trek can be found by following this link here at TrekToday.