April 18, 2017 | 06:13PM PT
The parking garage at the Sheraton Universal was filled with Hondas and Toyotas Tuesday night as WGA members gathered for a meeting ahead of a vote that would authorize a work stoppage. The meeting is the first of three set to take place this week in the Los Angeles area and New York.
Voting on a strike authorization is set to begin Tuesday night at 7:30 p.m. PT and end at noon PT Monday. The membership meetings will feature WGA leaders and members of the negotiating committee discussing the state of the contract talks, the state of the industry, and rallying support for the strike authorization vote.
One writer prior to the meeting characterized guild members who were active at the time of the 2007-08 writers’ strike as being most wary of a possible work stoppage, and newer guild members as advocating a more aggressive stance. The wealthiest and most successful members, the writer added, “are the ones complaining the most about not getting paid enough.”
On Monday, the WGA and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers suspended talks on a new labor agreement, scheduling them to resume April 25, the day after the strike-authorization vote ends. Negotiations between the WGA and the major studios began March 13 and lasted nearly two weeks, then resumed April 10.
The AMPTP had in December set a deal with the DGA that was expected to serve as a template for the current round of guild talks. But the WGA has brought several writer-specific issues to the table that were not relevant in negotiations with the directors’ guild, setting up a more challenging negotiation.
The AMPTP must is also facing a June 30 deadline to work out a performers’ contract with SAG-AFTRA. Those talks are set to follow the WGA negotiation.