The US Writers Guild has reached a tentative agreement with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers to end its strike of nearly five months.
The parties finalised the framework on a new three-year contract on Sunday when they were able to untangle their stalemate over AI and writing room staffing levels.
“We have reached a tentative agreement on a new 2023 MBA, which is to say an agreement in principle on all deal points, subject to drafting final contract language,” the guild told members in a release, after five days of long negotiations.
Four key Hollywood leaders participated in three days of the marathon negotiations which finally broke the logjam: Disney’s Bob Iger, NBCUniversal’s Donna Langley, Netflix’s Ted Sarandos and David Zaslav of Warner Bros. Discovery.
Details of the WGA’s tentative agreement haven’t been released.
WGA letter to members:
We have reached a tentative agreement on a new 2023 MBA, which is to say an agreement in principle on all deal points, subject to drafting final contract language.
What we have won in this contract – most particularly, everything we have gained since May 2nd – is due to the willingness of this membership to exercise its power, to demonstrate its solidarity, to walk side-by-side, to endure the pain and uncertainty of the past 146 days. It is the leverage generated by your strike, in concert with the extraordinary support of our union siblings, that finally brought the companies back to the table to make a deal.
We can say, with great pride, that this deal is exceptional – with meaningful gains and protections for writers in every sector of the membership.
What remains now is for our staff to make sure everything we have agreed to is codified in final contract language. And though we are eager to share the details of what has been achieved with you, we cannot do that until the last “i” is dotted. To do so would complicate our ability to finish the job. So, as you have been patient with us before, we ask you to be patient again – one last time.
Once the Memorandum of Agreement with the AMPTP is complete, the Negotiating Committee will vote on whether to recommend the agreement and send it on to the WGAW Board and WGAE Council for approval. The Board and Council will then vote on whether to authorize a contract ratification vote by the membership.
If that authorization is approved, the Board and Council would also vote on whether to lift the restraining order and end the strike at a certain date and time (to be determined) pending ratification. This would allow writers to return to work during the ratification vote, but would not affect the membership’s right to make a final determination on contract approval.
Immediately after those leadership votes, which are tentatively scheduled for Tuesday if the language is settled, we will provide a comprehensive summary of the deal points and the Memorandum of Agreement. We will also convene meetings where members will have the opportunity to learn more about and assess the deal before voting on ratification.
To be clear, no one is to return to work until specifically authorized to by the Guild. We are still on strike until then. But we are, as of today, suspending WGA picketing. Instead, if you are able, we encourage you to join the SAG-AFTRA picket lines this week.
Finally, we appreciated your patience as you waited for news from us — and had to fend off rumors — during the last few days of the negotiation. Please wait for further information from the Guild. We will have more to share with you in the coming days, as we finalize the contract language and go through our unions’ processes.
The strike itself will still be in force through the guild’s contract approval and ratification process. But picketing has been suspended as of Sunday night.
Guild leaders are expected to vote on Tuesday (AU: Wednesday) on whether to formally lift the strike order against AMPTP signatories.
The end of the WGA strike is also expected to hasten the end of SAG-AFTRA’s strike.