A benefit of union membership is that your voice has greater weight in the public sphere. The WGAE communicates and meets with elected officials about issues that matter to writers and other content creators. We submit comments and proposals to various agencies and legislative bodies, including the Federal Communications Commission, the Federal Trade Commission, the U.S. Congress, and various state and local governments.
Our principal goals are to enhance the resources available to produce Guild-covered programs; to minimize the barriers between creators and audiences; to involve members in the political process; and to ensure that writers have a seat at the table as major decisions are made.
Enhancing resources: The WGAE has encouraged Congress and the Administration to increase funding for public television. This is good public policy and it increases the opportunities for members to create programs. We have also pressed for legislation in New York to expand the production tax credit to include writing services; this would give producers an incentive to hire New York writers; our legislation would also incentivize producers to hire women and writers of color.
Minimizing barriers: The internet and other digital media offer an unprecedented opportunity for creators to reach consumers directly and for people to watch and read what they want, when they want. We believe people would benefit from an open internet that offers a greater variety of options than what is currently available on television, radio, and at the movie theater. Therefore we have actively supported the concept of net neutrality by submitting comments to agencies and the press and by testifying at hearings.
Involving members: We believe an active, mobilized membership is the foundation of a strong union. We involve members directly in as much political work as possible, including visits to members of Congress, legislators, and officials at the White House. We also encourage members to participate in email and letter-writing campaigns in connection with issues that are important to writers.
Sitting at the table: The WGAE represents people who create programs for the internet, mobile devices, and other digital screens. The models for financing, producing, and distributing digital content are still being developed, and we believe the creators must have a seat at the table as these important decisions are made. We actively seek opportunities to make writers voices heard in the digital realm.
Supporting each other: Writers benefit from public policies that help people band together to bargain collectively and from real enforcement of the protections provided by labor laws. Our members can craft compelling messages about important issues, using viral videos and other tools. The WGAE works closely with other unions, including those representing other media employees, because this makes us all stronger.