Producers Criticize WGA Leadership

The Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers has turned up its criticism of the Writers Guild of America, issuing an open letter asking whether the union’s leadership is relishing the “havoc” its strike has caused and lambasting tactics by the writers to compel bargaining.

The letter asserts that non-Writers Guild workers have lost more than $200 million in wages due to the work stoppage, and puts the losses to the writers themselves at $115 million. By January, the economic impact to the regional economy will exceed $200 million, the AMPTP states.

The letter also criticizes recent union moves. Friday the WGA filed a grievance with the National Labor Relations Board, arguing that the AMPTP can’t demand that issues be removed from the bargaining table before it will even entertain other issues in the negotiations. The AMPTP labels that complaint “specious.”

The producers union keeps returning to a quote attributed to WGA negotiator David Young in a personality profile in the Los Angeles Times. The union man said of the strike “I just lay back and look at the havoc I’ve created.”

“Havoc has certainly been wreaked by the WGA’s actions, but it is now clear that there are no ‘winners’ in this strike. Simply put, this strike cannot be resolved until the working writers -- who are a valued and vital part of this business community -- decide that their union should adopt a reasonable, consistent, and practical negotiating strategy,”

the letter said.

The WGA’s “existing, unreasonable, inconsistent and impractical negotiating strategy is guaranteed to produce only losers in this strike. The WGA’s organizers refused to engage in early bargaining and then started this strike, and their subsequent negotiating tactics have ensured that the hardships suffering by below-the-line workers and their families will continue to worsen,” the missive concluded.