UK industry bodies Bectu and the Writers Guild of Great Britain are saluting the tentative agreement reached on Sunday by the WGA and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers to end the writers strike after nearly five months. They also called for a speedy resolution to the SAG-AFTRA strike. The UK industry has been hard hit by the labor unrest on the other side of the Atlantic.
Broadcasting union Bectu, which reps more than 30,000 staff, contract and freelance workers in creative industries, welcomed news of the deal whose framework was finalized between the WGA and the AMPTP yesterday when they were able to untangle their stalemate over AI and writing room staffing levels.
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However, Bectu also urged the AMPTP to resolve the ongoing actors strike. In a statement today, Bectu’s chief Philippa Childs said, “It’s now critical that the AMPTP directs all its energies into resolving the dispute with our SAG-AFTRA colleagues.” (Scroll down for the full note.)
On behalf of the WGGB, Chair Lisa Holdsworth said, “We send our congratulations to our sister union in the States on reaching a tentative agreement with the AMPTP.”
She added, “We look forward to a speedy resolution to both this strike and that of SAG-AFTRA, to whom we continue to send our solidarity.”
Here’s the full memo from Holdsworth, followed by that of Bectu’s Childs:
“We send our congratulations to our sister union in the States on reaching a tentative agreement with the AMPTP.
“In the past 146 days we’ve seen an extraordinary show of solidarity from writers and their union siblings on both sides of the Atlantic, and indeed around the world. We’ve been overwhelmed by the response of our own membership in standing with their striking colleagues overseas – you have followed the WGA strike rules to the letter, turned out to the WGGB protest in London in the summer and sent a tsunami of support on social media. Some of you have even joined picket lines in the States. Your solidarity has counted and your voice has been heard – both by the Writers Guild of America and their members but also by the streamers, studios and producers who have witnessed this global display of collective action and have – finally – listened.
“We are also aware of the acute impact the strike is having on the UK creative industries, on our own members and members of our sister entertainment unions, too, so we look forward to a speedy resolution to both this strike and that of SAG-AFTRA, to whom we continue to send our solidarity.
“We look forward to the details of the WGA deal and its implications for UK writers. All writers working for streaming platforms must enjoy decent terms and conditions and the best way to achieve these is through union agreements – our work here will continue.”
“This is welcome news for our members and the UK film and TV industry as a whole. UK crew and other workers have suffered at the hands of the AMPTP’s failure to reach an acceptable agreement with WGA and SAG-AFTRA, and this news will provide some hope after months of instability.
“It’s now critical that the AMPTP directs all its energies into resolving the dispute with our SAG-AFTRA colleagues.
“The AMPTP cannot be ignorant of the huge and detrimental impact their disputes are having on our industry. Hardworking crew and other workers whose livelihoods have been devastated by these protracted negotiations will be watching developments closely.
“Our members are highly skilled, talented professionals and the backbone of our film and TV sector, and they want to get back to work. We urge a swift and successful conclusion that will help get film and TV production in the UK back to normal.”
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