NYC Council Unanimously Passes Resolutions Supporting SAG-AFTRA, WGA Strikes: ‘Bob Better Sell That Yacht Quick!’

The unions’ historic double strike is part of a larger “hot labor summer” trend, says councilmember Carmen De La Rosa

WGA Strike, NYC
"'Here's looking at you kid,'" was not written by a producer." WGA Strike, NYC (Lucas Manfredi for TheWrap)

The New York City Council has unanimously passed resolutions supporting the SAG-AFTRA and WGA strikes against Hollywood studios.

On Thursday, the council voted to pass bills Resolution 694 and Resolution 729, which were sponsored by councilmembers Carmen De La Rosa and Amanda Farias in support of fair contract negotiations for the WGA and SAG-AFTRA with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers.

Of the strikes, De La Rosa cheekily nodded to Disney CEO Bob Iger in a statement sent to TheWrap, saying, “Bob better sell that yacht quick!” She also referred to the greater trend of labor unions demanding livable wages and productive change in their respective industries, coining it a “hot labor summer.”

The council broke down its unanimous decision in that same release, highlighting issues raised by the unions in the ongoing strike against the AMPTP, including streaming residual payments, livable wages, health insurance and protections against artificial intelligence.

Additionally, the council pushed for the AMPTP to find a solution and ultimately end the strike which has reached day 93 for writers and day 20 for actors.

“This is the first time in 63 years that the sister unions have gone on strike together, and its indicative of the massive movements in labor that we have witnessed in the recent months — it’s a hot labor summer where we averted a UPS strike, NYSNA just secured a historic contract that they have fought so long for, and more movements continue to grow across our city,” De La Rosa, chair of the Civil Service and Labor Committee, said.

In Resolution 694, the council called on the AMPTP “to engage in good faith negotiations that will result in a fair contract for all Writers Guild of America members.” For Resolution 729, the council expressed “unwavering support of striking SAG-AFTRA members in their pursuit of a fair and just contract.”

The resolutions also pointed out the strike’s economic impact on the city, mentioning that the film and television industry is a “pivotal economic driver, generating substantial revenue and providing numerous job opportunities for local residents.”

New York City is home to a large portion of the country’s media and entertainment industry, with over 185,000 people who work in the business and contributing 6.5% of the city’s annual gross domestic product.

The statement concluded: “We have an opportunity to change an industry that has gone unchanged for far too long. Creatives have to take on multiple jobs just to pursue their passion and create the content that we so selfishly consume. Maybe, after these resolutions and good faith negotiations, we will finally get a new season of ‘Abbott Elementary’ or ‘Stranger Things.’ No longer should big corporations profit off of the backs of our workforce. Bob better sell that yacht quick!”

Regarding passage of Resolution 0694-A on Thursday, WGA East responded with the following statement:

“We are grateful to the New York City Council for affirming its support for writers who are on strike to protect their ability to sustain middle class careers in this industry. The Resolution puts the onus on the AMPTP — which includes the big studios and streaming services, including Big Tech companies — to engage in good faith negotiations for a fair contract that addresses our members’ real needs and concerns. Writers have shown incredible fortitude on the picket line and we have deeply appreciated the stalwart solidarity from our partner unions. This is a struggle for the future of our industry, and our members will remain strong. Thank you to City Council and especially council member Carmen De La Rosa, who sponsored the resolution.”