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Writers enter tense contract negotiations with Hollywood studios


The Writers Guild of America is set to begin negotiations with the Hollywood studios on Monday, as both sides brace for what is expected to be a tough bargaining session.

Negotiations to secure a new three-year contract are scheduled to begin Monday morning at the Sherman Oaks headquarters of the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, the body that represents studios including Walt Disney, Warner Bros. Discovery and Amazon. . The talks are expected to last two weeks.

The meeting follows an exchange of negotiation proposals between the two sides last week. They have until May 1 to agree on a new film and television contract.

The talks are being closely watched as many in Hollywood fear this year’s contract renegotiation could lead to a strike. The writers argue that the rise of streaming has eroded their ability to earn a living. At the same time, the studios have been going through a downsizing, with cutbacks and layoffs as streaming subscriber numbers have been disappointing.

“The economic challenges facing writers are deepening and becoming existential,” Chris Keyser, who is co-chair of the bargaining committee, told The Times last week.

The union highlighted the erosion of writers’ pay over the past decade in a report last week that found half of all TV series writers were paid the basic minimum rate, up from 33% in 2013-14. .

The WGA’s bargaining goals include: increasing the minimum compensation across the board and higher residual payments, especially in broadcasting, as well as higher contributions to the union’s health and pension plan.

With the trend toward shorter seasons, the union wants stronger protections for writers who work longer periods of time on a small number of episodes.

The AMPTP said in a statement that it was approaching the deal with the long-term health and stability of the industry as its priority. “We are all partners in charting the future of our business together and we are fully committed to reaching a mutually beneficial agreement with each of our negotiating partners,” the group said in a statement. “The goal is to keep the production going so we can all keep working and continue to deliver the best entertainment product available in the world to consumers.”

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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