Writers Guild members nearly unanimous in approving bargaining demands

LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 28, 2019 Building at 7000 West 3rd Street in the Fairfax area of Los Angeles where the Writers Guild of America West is located on March 28, 2019. There is a dispute between the Writers Guild of America and the Assn. of Talent Agents. (Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)
The home of the Writers Guild of America West, which is set to begin contract negotiations with Hollywood studios. (Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

Members of the Writers Guild of America have overwhelmingly approved a list of demands that the union plans to put to Hollywood studios later this month.

The union is contractually required to make a statement of objectives for its upcoming contract negotiations with studios. The union said in a message to members Tuesday that 98.4% voted in favor of the proposed demands, out of the 5,643 members to cast votes. Only 1.6% voted no.

The margin of approval and voter participation increased from the last go-round in 2020, when 3,336 members voted. At that time, nearly 91% supported the union's so-called pattern of demands.

This year, the union is asking for studios to improve compensation from streaming and in residual payments. The chasm between creators and producers in Hollywood over payment in streaming has led some to predict the first writers strike since 2007.

The demands also include measures to curb abuses by studios in the use of so-called mini-rooms — small groups of writers used to flesh out a series before it's produced. This phenomenon has suppressed writers' wages, the union has said.

The union will start talks with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers on March 20, ahead of the expiration of its contract on May 1.

This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.