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WGA Says It Will Go on Strike May 2 If No Deal

Writers Guild said it will proceed with a work stoppage in a Tuesday letter to media buyers

The Writers Guild of America will go on strike beginning May 2 if it is unable to reach a new deal with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, the guild said in a letter sent to media buyers Tuesday.

“In the event that we are unable to negotiate a new contract with the AMPTP, a work stoppage will begin May 2nd,” the guild said in the letter. “Should this occur, writing for television, feature films and digital series will cease.”

The guild, whose contract expires May 1, had been negotiating a new contract for film and TV writers with the AMPTP, but those talks broke down toward the end of last month. The WGA’s negotiating committee called for a strike authorization vote March 24.

The two sides will reconvene at the negotiating table during the week beginning April 10, but the guild has already made contingency plans in the event that it can’t reach a deal with the producers’ alliance. Los Angeles member meetings are set for April 18 and 19, while a New York meeting will also take place on April 19. An online strike authorization vote will begin April 19 at 8:30 p.m. PT through April 24 at noon PT.

Tuesday’s letter also quantified the guild’s demands, estimating that its proposal would cost the entire industry $178 million a year, with the six largest firms ponying up $117 million of that.