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Writers Guild of America: Conglomerates wreaking economic havoc

UPI News Service, 12/28/2007 

The Hollywood writers' strike has cost writers more in salary and benefits than they hoped to gain through the walkout, TV networks and movie studios said.

The Writers Guild of America has been on strike against the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers since Nov. 5. The walkout has caused most scripted TV series to shut down, while several movie projects have been postponed.

"It's official: The people in charge at the WGA have led working writers into a strike that has now cost those working writers more in salary and benefits than the WGA's organizers ever expected to gain from the strike," the AMPTP said in a statement Friday. "And the strike continues because the union's leaders are focused on jurisdictional issues that would expand their own power, at the expense of the new media issues that working writers care most about."

However, the WGA insisted that claim isn't true.

"Big media walked away from the table and refuses to negotiate," the WGA said in a statement posted on the guild's Web site. "The media conglomerates know that the core issue in these negotiations is new media. Their current proposals would cause writers even more economic harm in the future than they claim this strike has caused. To sidestep this fact, they erroneously claim we are focused on other issues. The conglomerates are responsible for creating the economic havoc. They should put their energies into making a fair deal with writers rather than issuing misleading statements."

Talks between the WGA and the AMPTP broke down earlier this month and no new sessions have been scheduled.

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Copyright 2007 by United Press International


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