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2007 WGAE Strike Rules
2007 Strike Rules – Index [download as PDF]
- Stop writing for all struck companies immediately.
Programming made for non-traditional media .
- Do not deliver or submit any literary material or any documents to a struck company.
- Do not negotiate with a struck company.
Notice (sample notice)
- Notify struck companies to return your literary material.
Notice (sample notice)
- Do not discuss future employment, sales or options with a struck company.
- Do not negotiate with a struck company to obtain financing for development or production of a project.
- Honor all Guild picket lines and do not enter the premises of any struck company.
- File with the Guild copies of all unproduced literary material written for a struck company ("script validation program")
the Guild of the name of any writer you have reason to believe is
engaged in any strike breaking activity or scab writing.
- You have the obligation to picket and/or perform other strike support duties.
- Do not attempt to negotiate a settlement of the strike with any struck company.
- Additional strike rules pertaining to writers also employed in additional capacities ("hyphenates").
- Rules pertaining to non-members
The Council of the Writers Guild of America, East (the "Guild"), have
adopted Strike Rules which will go into effect if and when the Guild
calls a strike. A strike can occur only after the members of WGA East
and West vote to authorize a strike action.
If there is a strike, each WGAE member is required to follow these
Strike Rules. The purpose of these Rules is to win the best possible
contract for writers. By following these Rules, you will enable your
bargaining committee to be in the best position to achieve improvements
in the MBA.
Please take the time to read and review the Strike Rules in their
entirety. Strict adherence by all Guild members leads to a more
effective strike and ultimately a better MBA.
The basic principle behind these Rules is very simple: you (and your
agent or other representative on your behalf) may not pitch to or
negotiate with a struck company, and you may not provide writing
services, sell or option literary material to a struck company.
As explained in some detail in the Rules themselves, prohibited conduct includes:
- delivery of written materials; and
- negotiations and discussions regarding present or future writing projects.
There are also certain notice requirements, including:
- notice to the companies to return writer-owned "spec" literary material; and
- filing with the Guild copies of unproduced literary material already written for a company.
There are Rules related to picket lines and other strike support activity, including:
- honoring all Guild picket lines;
- performing assigned strike support duties; and
- informing the Guild of strike breaking activity.
Finally, please note these other aspects of the Rules:
- Non-traditional media
The Rules prohibit writing
services performed for a struck company in connection with new
programming intended for initial viewing on non-traditional media (such
as the Internet and cellular telephones), and the option or sale of
literary material for that purpose.
The Rules apply to all network primetime
animated series covered by a WGA contract. Writers who wish to perform
writing services in connection with fully animated theatrical features
are advised to consult with WGA staff to
determine whether such writing is prohibited before performing any
writing services. Members should assume that projects combining live
action and animation are covered by the Strike Rules.
The Rules prohibit hyphenates (members who
are employed in dual capacities) from performing any writing services,
including the "(a) through (h)" functions.
Representatives of the Guild are available to answer all of your questions regarding these Rules. Please contact us with any inquiries by calling:
Writers Guild of America East
555 West 57th Street, Suite 1230
New York, New York 10019
Telephone: (212) 767-7800
- Immediately stop writing for all struck companies.
As soon as a strike is called, you must immediately stop writing for
any and all struck companies. You may not continue to write or complete
writing started before the strike for a struck company. You may not
start writing on a new project during a strike. You may not perform
writing services even if you work at home or at your own office rather
than at the company's premises. This Rule also prohibits you from
attending meetings, or engaging in conversations, as a writer
concerning new, pending or future projects or writing assignments with
producers, directors or other representatives of any struck company.
You may not attend pitch meetings or communicate with a company
representative to receive notes on literary material even if you intend
to wait until the strike ends to make any requested changes.
With regard to programming made for non-traditional media (such as the
Internet and cellular telephones), this Rule prohibits writing services
performed for a struck company in connection with new programming
intended for initial release on non-traditional media and the option or
sale of literary material for this purpose.
With regard to animation programming, this Rule applies to all network
primetime animated series covered by a WGA contract. Writers who wish
to perform writing services in connection with fully animated
theatrical features are advised to consult with
staff at the Guild's strike headquarters to determine the extent such
writing is permitted or prohibited before performing any services for a
struck company in order to avoid possible disciplinary action. It is
the writer's responsibility to determine whether the Guild is on strike
against the company with regard to 100% animated theatrical features. Members should assume that projects combining
live action and animation are covered by this Rule.
not deliver or submit any literary material to a struck company. Do not
sign or deliver documents related to writing assignments or the sale or
option of literary material to a struck company.
not sign, deliver or submit any literary material or documents related
to writing assignments or the sale or option of literary material to a
struck company, or to any of its employees, agents or other
representatives, either directly or indirectly through your literary
agent, lawyer, accountant, assistant, secretary, messenger, copy or
word processing service, via e-mail or the like. This includes literary
material such as scripts or outlines, and also prohibits you from
signing or delivering contracts, certificates of authorship and other
This Rule applies even when the negotiation of a deal
was completed prior to the strike, or the effective date of the deal is
intended to be deferred until after settlement of the strike.
You may, however, accept payment for writing services
performed before the strike, or for a sale or option when all steps or
acts except payment occurred before the strike. You may also accept
payment during a strike for the sale of literary material if a struck
company unilaterally elects to exercise a pre-strike option to purchase
the literary material or the struck company unilaterally extends an
option for literary material as long as you are not required to sign
and/or deliver any transactional documents or literary material during
not negotiate with struck companies for writing services, and notify
agents to cease negotiations on your behalf until the strike concludes.
You may not negotiate an employment agreement for writing
services or an option or sale of literary material with a struck
company, even if some or all of the writing is to be done, or the sales
transaction will be completed, after the strike concludes. Similarly,
you may not instruct or permit your agent, other representative, or any
other person to negotiate such a deal or assignment on your behalf with
a struck company.
Hyphenates are prohibited from negotiating new assignments for writing
services even if combined with non-writing services. If you are a
hyphenate, see Rule 12.
You are required to send the following notice to your agent(s) and any other representative(s) as soon as a strike is called:
"On ______, 2007, following a vote by the membership of the Writers
Guild of America, the WGA issued a strike order against various
companies in the motion picture and television industry. You are
immediately instructed to engage in no further negotiations, meetings
or discussions with any struck company concerning my performance of
writing services on future or pending projects, or for the sale or
option of literary material I have written, alone or with a writing
partner. I hereby revoke your authority to engage in any of the
foregoing activities until the WGA withdraws the strike order."
SIGN AND PRINT YOUR NAME
- Notify struck companies to return writer-owned "spec" literary material or sample scripts.
As soon as a strike is called, all Guild members are required to send
the following notice to all struck companies that have in their
possession any "spec" literary material or sample scripts owned by a
member (or team of members). The notice to the company should be sent
by certified or registered mail or hand delivered by a messenger
service so that you have evidence of the company's receipt and date of
its receipt. You also are required to send a copy by regular mail or facsimile to the Contracts Department at Writers Guild
of America, East.
NOTICE TO RETURN WRITER-OWNED LITERARY MATERIAL
The Writers Guild Strike Rules require that you promptly return to me
all speculative literary material or sample scripts owned by me and
currently in your possession, which includes the following [describe
material by project name or working title]: ___________
SIGN AND PRINT YOUR NAME and show a copy to be sent to the Guild
This notice requirement does not apply to literary material completed
under employment or sold to a Company before the strike started, not
does it apply to literary material optioned by a Company before the
- Do not discuss future writing assignments or the sale or option of literary material with a struck company.
During a strike, you and your agent or anyone acting on your behalf may
not discuss or meet with any representative(s) of a struck company
about possible post-strike employment to write literary material or the
sale or option of literary material previously written by you. You and
your agent may not send out writing samples to struck companies in
order to garner interest in your writing services after the strike.
- Do not negotiate with a struck company for the development, financing or production of a project.
You may not negotiate directly or indirectly through agents or other
representatives for the development, financing or production of any of
your literary material with a struck company. Also, you may not
participate as a writer in the production of your literary material
during a strike.
- Honor all Guild picket lines and do not enter the premises of any struck company.
You must honor all Guild picket lines and not enter the premises of any struck company. If you are a hyphenate, see Rule 12.
- File with the Guild copies of all unproduced literary material written for a struck company ("script validation program").
The Guild will conduct a script validation program in the event of a
strike. You will be required to submit copies of all literary material
to the Guild at the outset of a strike. This includes literary material
already completed and delivered to a company before the strike, all
writing in progress for a company currently subject to the strike, as
well as any spec or sample script, if any version of it was submitted
to any producer or company before the strike. The filing of these
copies will allow the Guild to determine the exact status of material
at the beginning of a strike and may protect you in the event
allegations of strike-breaking or scab writing are made against you or
The process of "validating" literary material will be
available online and in person at the Guild's strike headquarters.
There will be no fee. You may file online or in person.
- You must inform the Guild of the name of any writer you have
reason to believe is engaged in strike breaking activity or other scab
You must inform the Guild of the name of any writer-member and
non-member-you believe is engaged in strike breaking activity such as
scab writing for or negotiating with a struck company. To the extent
possible, be specific about the nature of the violation, including the
date and place of the violation, the name of the struck company
involved, and the name of the project, if any.
- You must picket and/or perform other strike support duties and
cooperate with Guild committees charged with enforcement of the Strike
Rules and each Guild's Constitution.
In the event of a strike, Guild members will be called upon to picket
at specific locations and/or to perform other vital strike support
duties, such as making or answering telephone calls or e-mail at strike
headquarters. Absent a valid medical excuse, non writing employment,
compelling personal circumstances [necessary child or elder care] or
emergency, you are obligated to perform these duties when and where
requested. If there is a personal circumstance making strike support
duties impossible when requested, members are required to arrange
alternate times to contribute to the strike effort.
When requested, you must also cooperate with the Strike
Disciplinary Committee in an investigation or with a trial committee
convened to hear evidence concerning alleged violations of the Strike
Rules or conduct prejudicial to the welfare of the Guild.
- Do not attempt to negotiate a settlement of the strike with any struck company.
However good your intentions may be, the job of negotiating a
successful conclusion of a strike is in the hands of the Negotiating
Committee, the chief negotiator, the officers, WGAW Board of Directors
and WGAE Council. The Guild will keep the membership informed about the
progress of contract negotiations and strike settlement talks.
- Additional Strike Rules pertaining to writers also employed in additional capacities ("hyphenates"):
Hyphenates (i.e. members employed in dual capacities such as
writer-director, writer-producer, etc.) may not perform any writing
services, including "(a) through (h)" services, for a struck company.
The MBA defines "(a) through (h)" as follows:
(a) Cutting for time
(b) Bridging material necessitated by cutting for time
(c) Changes in technical or stage directions
(d) Assignment of lines to other existing characters occasioned by cast changes
(e) Changes necessary to obtain continuity acceptance or legal clearance
(f) Casual minor adjustments in dialogue or narration made prior to or during the period of principal photography
(g) Such changes in the course of production as are made necessary by
unforeseen contingencies (e.g., the elements, accidents to performers,
(h) Instructions, directions, or suggestions, whether oral or written, made to a writer regarding story or screenplay
The Guild strongly believes that no member should cross a WGA picket
line or enter the premises of a struck company for any purpose. Under
applicable law, however, the Guild may not discipline a hyphenate for
performing non-writing services. This legal restriction only extends to
services that are clearly not writing services. If a hyphenate performs
writing services, including "(a) through (h)", for a struck company, or
negotiates a new assignment for writing services, including (a) through
(h), he/she will be subject to Guild discipline under the Strike Rules
and the Guild's Constitution and By-Laws.
To avoid possible disciplinary action, hyphenates are
advised to consult with Guild staff in advance for guidance on the
extent of functions prohibited. Although it is impossible to
contemplate every situation, it should be clear that the most inclusive
interpretation of "writing" is intended. When in doubt, don't.
Hyphenates are subject to the following additional rules, though they are not enforceable through Guild discipline:
A. A hyphenate member performing non-writing services during a strike
should provide the Guild with a list of the literary material,
including the names of the writers of the material, utilized by him/her
in the production of a television program or theatrical motion picture.
Also, the hyphenate member should provide the Guild with copies of
literary materials rewritten, polished or altered in any way during the
strike and the names of any writers working on such materials.
B. A hyphenate member should determine and confirm that
literary material on which he/she performs non-writing services is not
material proscribed by the Strike Rules. In the event a hyphenate is
asked to perform non-writing services on a "scab script", he/she should
refuse. In addition, the hyphenate member should report the request and
deliver copies of such material to the Guild. Note: For purposes of
this Rule, a "scab script" is any literary material written or
rewritten by anyone for a struck company during a strike or literary
material optioned or purchased by a struck company during a strike.
- Rules pertaining to non members
The Guild does not have the authority to discipline non members for
strike breaking and/or scab writing. However, the Guild can and will
bar that writer from future Guild membership.
This policy has been strictly enforced in the past and has resulted in
convincing many would be strike breakers to refrain from seriously
harming the Guild and its members during a strike. Therefore, it is
important for you to report to the Guild the name of any non member
whom you believe has performed any writing services for a struck
company and as much information as possible about the non member's
The Guild's disciplinary procedures (Article X of each Guild's
Constitution) not only protect the Guild from conduct harmful to a
strike effort, but also protect the due process rights of members
charged with violations and include hearing and appeal procedures. A
copy of Article X is attached for your review.
Article X gives the Guild the authority to impose
discipline for violations of the Strike Rules by Guild members.
Discipline may include, but is not limited to, any or all of the
following: expulsion or suspension from Guild membership, imposition of
monetary fines, or censure. Discipline imposed is enforceable through
Questions About the Strike Rules
Writers and Guild staff, in consultation with the Guild's legal
department, will be available during normal working hours at the
Guild's strike headquarters to answer questions and to interpret the
application of these Rules to specific circumstances. All writers
should feel free to use this service if in doubt as to a contemplated
course of action.