WGA East Cancels New York Picket Lines Due to Canadian Wildfire Smoke

The National Weather Service has issued an air quality warning to tri-state area residents

WGA Strike
Members of the Writers Guild of America (WGA) East hold signs as they walk in the picket-line outside of HBO and Amazon's offices on May 10, 2023 in New York City. ( Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

The Writers Guild of America East announced that it is canceling Wednesday’s scheduled picket lines in New York City due to hazardous air quality from wildfire smoke streaming over the tri-state area from Canada.

On Wednesday, the National Weather Service released an air quality warning to residents of the tri-state area, reporting that air quality in New York City is currently the second-worst of any metropolis save for Delhi, India. More than 1,600 flights in and out of Newark and LaGuardia airports have been delayed by the Federal Aviation Administration due to poor visibility.

Currently, more than 200 wildfires are burning across Canada, with a significant number burning in Quebec near the U.S. border. The smoke is expected to linger over the northeast U.S. for several days, making it possible that today’s WGA picket pause may be extended at least through the end of the week.

Picket lines held by the WGA West in Los Angeles remain on schedule as the writers’ strike continues nationwide. The strike is expected to continue at least through the end of June as Hollywood studios began their negotiations with SAG-AFTRA on Wednesday ahead of a June 30 deadline.

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