The WGA West has appointed a committee to enforce Working Rule 23, which prohibits members from being represented by non-signatory agencies – meaning that members who refused to fire their agents could be hauled before disciplinary panels.
“While individual members have a voice and vote, after the Guild decides on collective action, members are obligated to follow Guild rules, which will be enforced,” the guild said recently in an update of its implementation of Rule 23. “The WGA membership and leadership have ratified this course of action and the membership has a proud history of unity and solidarity. Article X of the WGAW and WGAE Constitutions guides Guild disciplinary procedures. In May the WGAW Board appointed a WR23 Committee to advise the Board and investigate alleged infractions.”
On April 15, two days after writers began firing their agents, Deadline reported that the guild could hold disciplinary committee trials of members who don’t fire their agents. At the time, WGA West president David A. Goodman denied that, saying “Our power is based on solidarity, not coercion, and this article’s supposition that we are planning on putting members in front of trial committees is false.”
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Deadline reached out to Goodman on Friday to clarify his previous comments amid news of the committee being established.
“My first comment to you on Working Rule 23 was three days after we implemented the Code of Conduct,” he said today, “and was a direct reference to asking members to sign an e-letter firing their agents. What I said then was and is true: we wanted members to sign the e-letter out of solidarity, and they did. Now, four months in, if a member is not following the rules of this action, the union has a duty to all the members who are following the rules to look into it. If and when it happens, there will be due process and confidentiality.”
As previously reported, members found to be in violation of Working Rule 23 “shall be subject to discipline in accordance with Article X of the WGA West constitution,” according to the guild.