Despite the hopeful and optimistic rumor that began circulating earlier this week, the Great Writer’s Strike of 2007 has not ended and unfortunately, does not seem like it will soon. Although talks resumed this week, there was little news until Thursday, when both the AMPTP (Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers) and the WGA released press statements after the first three days of meetings.
Something I noticed while reading these: the AMPTP’s statement addresses the proposal using broad, big picture statistics, particularly the statement, “The entire value of the New Economic Partnership will deliver more than $130 million in additional compensation above and beyond the more than $1.3 billion writers already receive each year.” This is more than likely designed to create a negative emotional response to the fact that writers receive such large salaries, specifically $1.3 billion worth. However, if that were averaged out over the approximately 12,000 WGA members, that $1.3b comes to about $108,000 per member. Of course, it is not divided equally, and there are many writers making much more and much less than that.
Furthermore, while reading the WGA’s letter, the numbers get much more specific. For example, this statement: “For streaming television episodes, the companies proposed a residual structure of a single fixed payment of less than $250 for a year’s reuse of an hour-long program (compared to over $20,000 payable for a network rerun). For theatrical product they are offering no residuals whatsoever for streaming.”
What makes this interesting is the difference in management vs. labor strategies that is present in almost all labor disputes. Please be assured this is not an attempt to editorialize, merely an analysis of the presentation of progresses made during this week’s negotiations. Which basically amounts to zero progress.
At least they’re talking again.
Statements available after the jump:
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