Saturday, February 25, 2017

Strike Time?

This sounds a wee bit like 2007-2008:

... According to the WGA West’s annual reports, screenwriters earned less in 2015 ($362.1 million) than they did in 1996 ($364.4 million) – and that’s in real dollars. Adjusted for inflation, they collectively earned about a third less in 2015 than they did in 1996. ...

“The general feeling is that everybody would prefer to work,” said [a] writer, “but given the companies’ profits and our declining wages, it’s now or never. This meeting was not a strike vote, but we have certain needs that have to be met. Nobody wants to strike, but we are willing to if we have to.”...

Guild records show that “overall median earnings increased 17.4% between 2008 and 2014,” but guild leaders say that “the average income of members in both features and series TV have actually decreased over the (last) decade.” ...

Toward the end of 2007, the WGA went on strike over the issue of New Media. The job action lasted months, and a chunk of the animation industry (not to mention much of live-action) was shut down. The nerves of many were rubbed raw before a settlement was ultimately reached.

This time around, if a lengthy Writers Guild strike happens, less of the cartoon business will be affected, because a smaller percentage of animation work is directly impacted by the WGA. Still in all, job actions are always tricky things. Hopefully the mere threat of a strike will be enough to propel the Writers Guild to a fair and equitable contract.

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