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New York State Senate, Assembly members call on AMPTP to “negotiate in good faith” with WGA amid stalled contract talks


More than 50 members of the New York State Senate and Assembly have signed two separate letters calling on the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers to return to the negotiating table with the Writers Guild.

A letter from the Senate and one of the assembly were delivered to AMPTP Friday morning, a month since the current writers’ strike began. The letters, addressed to studio association president Carol Lombardini, urge the group and “its affiliates” to listen to the issues raised by WGA on behalf of its writers.

“We understand that, despite many weeks at the negotiating table, the AMPTP has rejected a series of Writers Guild proposals that are essential to the well-being of writers in the fields of episodic television, comedy variety and feature film,” both letters state. “We are calling on the AMPTP and its affiliates to listen carefully to what their writers tell them about the difficulties of sustaining a career as streaming continues to transform the industry. We urge you to negotiate in good faith to reach a reasonable agreement with the Writers Guilds.”

Senator Jessica Ramos and Councilman Latoya Joyner, both Democrats, were the main organizers of the letters, and the letters received the support of 19 senators and 33 members of the Assembly.

“The striking writers are not just standing up for a decent wage. This contract war goes to the heart of existential issues facing the future of work,” Ramos said in a statement. “My colleagues and I are proud to support the Writers Guild in their demands for good faith negotiations.”

Joyner, who also chairs the Assembly Labor Committee, added in her own statement: “The members of the Writers Guild are the heart of New York’s creative community and they bring an incredible energy and vitality to our state. into a truly dynamic and exciting place to live. I am proud that so many of my colleagues join me in urging the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers to enter into a contract with the Writers Guild that truly recognizes the talent of their members and honors them fairly and treated with respect.”

One of the issues addressed in the letters is the expanded New York film production tax credit for fiscal year 2024. The stimulus, the meeting letter said, “provides hundreds of millions of dollars in tax credits each year to companies represented by the Association of Motion Picture and Television Producers.”

Both letters call it “disturbing” that the companies “who will greatly benefit from this expanded tax credit have failed to negotiate a collective bargaining agreement with the Writers Guilds of America, East and West, whose members country on strike.”

The letters come just a day after Netflix shareholders rejected executive pay packages for 2023 totaling more than $150 million, a move the Writers Guild supported. The vote was non-binding and can be overruled by the streamer’s board. (The union sent a similar letter to Comcast shareholders, who will hold their meeting next week.)

“The Netflix board should spend less time figuring out ways to pay the executive team more money and instead address the writers’ strike that is delaying major shows like #StrangerThings.” WGA East tweeted out on Thursday.

“While investors have long objected to the pay of Netflix executives, against the backdrop of the strike, the pay structure is more egregious,” WGA West president Meredith Stiehm wrote in the letter to Netflix shareholders ahead of the vote.

Merry C. Vega is a highly respected and accomplished news author. She began her career as a journalist, covering local news for a small-town newspaper. She quickly gained a reputation for her thorough reporting and ability to uncover the truth.

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