After a series of 148 days, the 2023 Writers Guild strike is set to conclude at 12:01 a.m. PT on Wednesday. This historic labor dispute was the second-longest in the Writers Guild of America’s history, surpassed only by a strike in 1988.
The decision to end the strike came following a vote by guild leadership, authorizing around 11,500 members to resume work. Activities that were previously restricted under strike rules, such as pitching, script sales, meetings, and responding to notes, will once again be permitted. Writers’ rooms can also reconvene.
However, THR writes that it’s crucial to note that the strike’s end does not guarantee the automatic approval of the tentative agreement reached between the union, studios, and streamers on Sunday night. The ratification process will involve a vote by union members, scheduled to occur between October 2 and October 9.
Additionally, informational meetings about the new deal will be held in New York, Los Angeles, and virtually on Zoom in the coming days. Union leaders will use these meetings to persuade members that the strike was instrumental in securing favorable conditions from major industry employers.
Writers Strike Ends With Challenges and Compromises in Negotiations
Negotiations gained momentum on September 20 when both parties returned to the bargaining table at the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers’ headquarters, with key industry leaders present. The studios made significant concessions, particularly in areas like minimum staffing in television writers’ rooms and compensation for the success of streaming projects.
Although challenges related to artificial intelligence regulations persisted, a compromise was eventually reached.
The Writers Guild referred to the resulting agreement as “exceptional” in its communication to members on Sunday. The approval of this deal by the WGA West Board and WGA East Council paved the way for the lifting of the “restraining order” against AMPTP member companies.
While the writers’ strike has concluded, the labor standoff in the entertainment industry continues, with SAG-AFTRA still on strike. No new bargaining dates have been announced between SAG-AFTRA and the AMPTP. Issues such as general wage increases, revenue sharing for streaming project success, and artificial intelligence regulations remain contentious points of negotiation.
The Writers’ strike ends will allow writers to return to work, but meaningful production cannot resume without the participation of principal performers, who are still affected by the ongoing strike.