Monday, April 10, 2017

Give, Take, and Leverage

Two members of the WGA's negotiation committee have talked (in broad brush strokes) about where the Writer's Guild and AMPTP are in their ongoing contract talks. If what they say is accurate, it looks like the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers are playing a wee bit of hardball with the WGA:

... This idea that the Writers Guild walked out of the talks. It’s just an absolutely provable falsehood. We made an absolutely major, major step in the negotiations, which I thought had been going pretty well. On Wednesday of the second week, we made a major step in one of the proposals that we made to them. We actually, by that point, had taken 44% of our economic asks off the table, unilaterally. And the response from the companies was not the commensurate step. The response from the companies was actually two huge rollbacks and a lot of ‘Nos’ in a lot of areas – a proposal that they knew we couldn’t come close to accepting. ...

Negotiations are one part substance, one part kabuki theater, one part* game of chicken.

The trick is, knowing where the deal is and having some idea how much you can push. Knowing what kind of leverage you really have. Sometimes mistakes are made.

I don't know if the AMPTP has decided to be hard-nosed and out for some blood this contract cycle, or if the WGA is reaching for more than they can realistically get. (But that's what labor negotiations and labor actions are for ... to find out what the bottom lines are).

Here's the WGA's podcast.

* The parts are NOT of equal size.

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