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Writers Guild reaches independent agreement with United Artists

UPI News Service, 01/07/2008 

The striking Writers Guild of America and United Artists Films said Monday they have reached a mutually beneficial independent agreement.

A statement posted on the WGA Web site said the pact addresses issues important to writers, including new media. It didn't disclose details of the agreement, which will allow WGA members to work with United Artists while their strike against other companies continues.

The agreement does not involve Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc., a shareholder of United Artists Entertainment, the statement said.

"UA and the Writers Guild came together and negotiated seriously. The end result is that we have a deal that will put people back to work," said Patric M. Verrone, president of WGA West.

UA co-owner and Chief Executive Officer Paula Wagner said in a statement posted on the WGA Web site said the pact "makes good business sense for United Artists."

However, the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers -- the group of movie studios and TV networks the WGA has been on strike against since Nov. 5 -- argued "one-off deals do nothing to bring the WGA closer to a permanent solution for working writers." The alliance called such interim agreements "sideshows."

MGM said it "understands the desire of United Artists to resume its business activities, but respectfully disagrees with its decision to sign an interim agreement with the WGA."

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Copyright 2008 by United Press International

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