Writers on ABC's The Chase went on strike Wednesday (March 24) after ABC and producer ITV America declined to cover those writers under the Writers Guild of America Minimum Basic Agreement (MBA), according to the Writers Guild of America East and West.
WGA sent out the word that no members are permitted to write for the show.
WGA said the MBA assures that writers on quiz and participation shows have basic health coverage, pension benefits, and participate in residuals.
They two sides have been negotiating, but the sticking point appears to have been that the guild wanted the MBA to cover all seasons of the show. "Accepting anything less would undermine the writers of future seasons; the Guilds’ jurisdiction over quiz, and audience participation and game shows; and all Guild members," WGA said.
"We have alerted Writers Guild members that ITV America is refusing to honor the choice of writers at The Chase to be represented by the union and to receive pension and health benefits, residuals, and the other basic provisions of our industry wide MBA. Guild members will stand united in not crossing the picket line at The Chase.”
"After the WGAE approached ITV one week ago, we began good faith negotiations and proposed a package for the writers that includes generous, over-scale pay increases and health benefits through the WGA," said ITV America in a statement. "Despite that proposal, the WGAE is refusing to make a deal and insisting on terms that would economically cripple the show. We remain open to continuing discussions with the guild. ITV offers top-tier health benefits to all employees, whether union or non-union."
Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.
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