Tina Fey, David Simon Among Writers Calling on MSNBC to Agree to Union Contract

A bargaining unit of 300 MSNBC staff members have been negotiating for a contract for more than a year

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The Writers Guild of America East has released a petition on Tuesday that is signed by 400 members, including high-profile Hollywood screenwriters like Tina Fey, Lilly Wachowski and Alfonso Cuaron, calling on MSNBC to agree to a union contract with its bargaining unit, which has been in contract talks for more than a year.

In August 2021, 300 writers, producers and other editorial staff members at the cable news network voted overwhelmingly to unionize with the WGA East. But MSNBC management has not come to terms on a contract with the bargaining unit more than 1,100 days after the union was ratified by the National Labor Relations Board.

“We support our fellow Guild- represented writers and producers at MSNBC who have been fighting for over a year to win a reasonable first contract. They are fully dedicated to the important work they do for NBCU and they deserve to be paid – and treated – fairly,” the petition reads.

Other signees to the petition include “The Wire” creator David Simon, “Pitch Perfect” writer Kay Cannon, “Don’t Look Up” writer-director Adam McKay, “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” showrunner Warren Leight and original “Saturday Night Live” writer Alan Zweibel.

This past month, MSNBC laid off 30 employees that were unionized with the bargaining unit, a move that the union and WGA East called illegal as it was done “without providing us any advance notice or rationale.”

“The layoffs highlight our need for a fair union contract that locks in meaningful severance and other protections, and that addresses the inevitable impact on workload,” the MSNBC Union said in a statement. “Staff reductions mean greater workloads, longer hours, and longer workweeks. We have spent over a year in bargaining with NBC management discussing reasonable proposals to enable people to do great work without suffering from overwork and burnout – and to have a livable work/life balance.”

The full list of signees to the WGA East petition can be read here.