On May 2nd, the collective bargaining agreement with the Writers Guild of America and production studios will expire. With over 20,000 members, the union represents writers working in the television and film industry. While Hollywood might seem glitzy and glamorous, a dream factory is still a factory. Writers in the entertainment industry are asking for fair pay and fair protections in the workplace, as socialists, we must stand with workers when they withhold their labor and shutdown an industry in order to fight for their rights. These working writers are asking for our help and support – and it is time to show them we have their backs.
DSA-LA is proud to stand in solidarity and support WGA in this labor struggle! DSA-LA is always #StrikeReady when needed, but and need workers to join the fight! Please sign up to receive updates on the contract negotiations and how you can help!
The members of the Writers Guild of America West and the Writers Guild of America East (jointly WGA), labor unions that represent over 11,500 writers in film and television, voted 97.85% in favor of a strike authorization because writers are facing the most comprehensive assault on compensation and working conditions that they have seen in a generation. The studios have taken advantage of the transition to streaming to underpay workers across the entertainment industry. Median weekly pay for television writer-producers is down 4% in the last decade, or 24% when accounting for inflation. Median screenwriter pay has been flat since 2018, which is a14% decline when accounting for inflation.
This erosion of writer pay and working conditions has happened while the studios collected almost $30 billion in entertainment operating profits each year from 2017 to 2021. Now the studios are investing more and more into content for their streaming services—nearly $19 billion this year, up from $5 billion in 2019. The WGA’s demands are affordable for the studios, who have enjoyed decades of profits of the value of content writers and other workers in the industry create. This is a fight for the future of writing and for the ability to develop and sustain careers in this industry. The time to address these issues is now. You can read their full list of demands here.