The writers’ strike officially ended Monday as the Writers Guild of America announced that its members overwhelmingly voted to ratify the contract negotiated by guild leaders after 148 days on the picket lines.
The WGA announced the result of the ratification vote on Monday, with 8,435 out of 8,525 votes received in favor of ratification for a vote percentage of 99%. The voter turnout was significantly above the ratification vote for the 2020 contract, in which 4,155 votes were received.
The term of the new agreement is from Sept. 25 through May 1, 2026.
“Through solidarity and determination, we have ratified a contract with meaningful gains and protections for writers in every sector of our combined membership,” WGA West president Meredith Stiehm said in a statement. “Together we were able to accomplish what many said was impossible only six months ago. We would not have been able to achieve this industry-changing contract without WGA chief negotiator Ellen Stutzman, negotiating committee cochairs Chris Keyser and David A. Goodman, the entire WGA negotiating committee, strike captains, lot coordinators and the staff that supported every part of the negotiation and strike.”
WGA East president Lisa Takeuchi Cullen added, “Now it’s time for the AMPTP to put the rest of the town back to work by negotiating a fair contract with our SAG-AFTRA siblings, who have supported writers throughout our negotiations. Until the studios make a deal that addresses the needs of performers, WGA members will be on the picket lines, walking side-by-side with SAG-AFTRA in solidarity.”
Such significant engagement on the ratification is just one more sign of how well organized the WGA was both before and during this historic strike against the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, which ended one week shy of passing the all-time record for longest Hollywood strike held by the one staged by writers in 1988.
In a statement to media, the AMPTP congratulated the union on the ratification of its new contract. “The AMPTP member companies congratulate the WGA on the ratification of its new contract, which represents meaningful gains and protections for writers,” the statement read. “It is important progress for our industry that writers are back to work.”
The deal contained significant pay increases for all types of writers via multiple provisions, including guaranteed two-step pay for screenwriters, guaranteed 13 weeks of employment for comedy-variety writers, 25% premium for writers who work in a pre-greenlight “development room” — or “miniroom” — with less than 20 guaranteed weeks of employment, and formulas guaranteeing a minimum number of writers employed on a show depending on the number of episodes in a season.
Many of these provisions were met with stiff resistance by the studios and the AMPTP during initial talks with the WGA last spring. The AMPTP also offered little on artificial intelligence protections beyond an annual meeting with the guild on the technology.
But after five months of striking, the WGA secured specific language in the contract regarding AI use, including prohibiting companies from requiring writers to use AI in their work and informing them when material they provide to a writer has been written by AI software.
The guild also secured language reserving its right to assert that use of WGA members’ written work to train AI software is a violation of the bargaining agreement.
With the WGA contract ratified and writers’ rooms back up and running, attention now shifts to the ongoing discussions between the AMPTP and SAG-AFTRA on a new bargaining agreement for actors. SAG-AFTRA has been on the picket lines for 88 days and counting, and some WGA members have stayed out on the picket lines in solidarity and refused to return to work until actors have a deal as well.
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