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WGA, ATA Expected to Resume Negotiations on June 7

The two sides were expected to resume negotiations on Wednesday

Plans for the Writers Guild of America and the Association of Talent Agents to resume negotiations on a new franchise agreement have been pushed until June 7.

The WGA said in a letter to its membership that the two sides were expected to meet on Wednesday, but that the ATA postponed the meeting and suggested they reengage in talks next week.

WGA West president David Goodman last week accepted an offer from UTA co-president Jay Sures to resume talks between the guild and the ATA, which was expected to take place this week.

A time and place for the meeting had not been set, however, according to an individual with knowledge of the meeting, nor had a structure for how the negotiations would take place. According to the individual, the ATA proposed a series of small working group meetings to dive into each of the individual issues leading up into a meeting with the full negotiating committees.

It’s unclear whether the WGA accepted the ATA’s new proposed date for the meeting.

The new talks come a little more than a month after the WGA and ATA broke off talks despite extending the deadline of the previous agreement between them to reach a deal on new rules regarding the practice of packaging and production companies affiliated with major agencies like CAA and WME.

The WGA has been at odds with agencies and the ATA over packaging fees — fees collected by an agency from a studio or network for bundling talent it represents and presenting that multi-pronged project to the studio or network. The practice has become a major source of income for top Hollywood agencies, effectively making them producers on a movie or TV show.

The WGA considers both to be a conflict of interest and a violation of agents’ fiduciary duty to their clients.

In March, the guild and its members voted to implement a new code of conduct that called on Hollywood talent agencies to put an end to packaging fees.

The impasse over packaging fees has led the WGA to require its members to only work with agents who refuse to collect packaging fees, something none of the top agencies have agreed to do. In April, writers began firing their agents who worked at agencies that refused to sign the WGA’s code of conduct, resulting in more than 7,000 WGA members signing letters firing their agents. Endeavor said in its filing that the majority of its writer clients have sent the agency termination letters.