As the dispute between WGA and ATA heads into a third month with guild leadership rebuking the latest offer, a petition written to WGA leadership by 20 established scribes sent earlier this week — before the most recent proposal rejection — is making the rounds and Deadline found a copy. The petition requests transparency from leadership on the WGAs endgame and suggests that leaders with conflicted interests should step aside. Latter issue flared up when it was revealed that WGA negotiator Chris Keyser was shopping a series package produced by Endeavor Content. Here is the missive:
17 June 2019
Dear WGA Officers, Board and Negotiating Committee:
It is time to be clear and transparent with membership about your endgame for reaching an agreement with the ATA.
On June 7, the ATA made its second proposal to the Negotiating Committee. To date, there has been no response or counter to that proposal.
As this action enters its third month, this lack of response from Guild leadership to the substance of the proposal is a breach of the trust membership placed in you to negotiate a new code of conduct with our agencies. We did not vote for a stand-off. Further, the lack of transparency with membership is disrespectful. Our trust and loyalty are not blind.
When we strike, we know precisely what we strike for in cogently articulated points; we are presented with the endgame. In this case, a non-strike renegotiation of a contract with our own employees, we have been granted none of that. “Aligning agents interests with the interests of writers” is no longer sufficient when membership is asked to “sacrifice” — especially in light of the growing unease regarding conflicts of interest involving board and negotiating committee members.
Given the confusion and concern that this is now generating amongst members, we ask you these simple questions:
1. You have stated that packaging fees are “illegal.” Is it your goal to eliminate packaging fees entirely; or is it your intention to negotiate a revenue sharing solution for membership?
2. Is it your intention to refuse to reach an agreement with the ATA unless the Big 4 agrees to divest of affiliate production company ownership; or is it your aim to negotiate an ownership stake in profits for membership?
3. Will you ask any current board or negotiating committee member who is actively in talks with a Big 4 affiliate production company — either directly or through an intermediary — to resign in order to avoid any appearance of conflict?
Wed appreciate your direct answers,