WGA Says AMPTP Is ‘Wrestling Amongst Themselves’ in Rallying Labor Day Message

Writers-Guild-Strike-Labor-Day - Credit: FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty Images
Writers-Guild-Strike-Labor-Day - Credit: FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty Images

In a special Labor Day video shared on Monday, Chris Keyser, the co-chair of the Writers Guild of America negotiating committee, said that while it is a day of celebration for many, it is “not a celebration” for the union — at least, “not yet.”

Keyser addressed the ongoing dual strike against Hollywood studios. After thanking the guild staff he also acknowledged the SAG-AFTRA members “who march on picket lines alongside us every day,” adding, “Labor strength comes from numbers, and 171,000 irreplaceable workers is a pretty damn good number.”

More from Rolling Stone

The WGA began its strike on May 2, forcing many major productions to cease operations. Prior to the strike, talks between the WGA and AMPTP stalled after they failed to reach an agreement about a number of issues, including viewership-based residuals, minimum staffing levels, and regulation of the use of AI. Keyser called out these contentions on Monday, emphasizing that, “These things must be resolved. And not with contract language that has a one-to-one ratio of promises to loopholes. Truly resolved.”

“Of course, that’s not the AMPTP way. And it’s a hard thing to give up on something that has served them so well for 40 years,” he continued. “They are in the process of wrestling amongst themselves, ramping up their public relations, and coming to terms with the fact that – with writers on strike – and actors on strike behind them – this negotiation is different. And they are going to have to do more – offer more – than they usually do. Much of our frustration with how long this is taking stems from that – from their internal bargaining. But they will get there.”

The writers strike reached the four-month mark this weekend, and AMPTP’s latest proposal on Aug. 11 was denounced by members after details of the contract offer were released.

The WGA Negotiating Committee responded to the leaked proposal last month, saying it “failed to sufficiently protect writers from the existential threats that caused us to strike in the first place.”

In his message on Monday, Keyser called upon workers across the U.S. “For labor all across the country, this is the message: We and everyone who strikes with us are the beacon of hope. We carry the flag. On this Labor Day, the eyes of labor are on us,” he said. “So tomorrow, we will pick up where we left off with a message of determination and resilience, but also of openness.”

Best of Rolling Stone

Click here to read the full article.