An Update from WGAE President Michael Winship

Dear Fellow Members of the Writers Guild of America, East:

By now you've heard the great news that leaders from the Guilds and the AMPTP

have mutually agreed to resume formal negotiations on Monday, November 26. This

would have been impossible without your extraordinary hard work and support.

During the more than 25 years that I've been involved with this union I have

never seen such wholehearted, full-throated solidarity among our members, such

devotion and dedication to one another. You realize that a portion of revenues

from the Internet and new media is crucial to our

mutual survival as writers; that for us, this is the fight of our creative


You have turned out on the picket lines in droves. You've attended meetings,

volunteered to write articles and produced ingenious and savagely funny viral

videos. You have made phone calls and helped out in our office, you've made

yourselves available for media interviews.

You've even baked cookies for your friends and colleagues on the picket. Thank


In New York

this week, we've had three effective actions putting the spotlight on the

corporate conglomerates that dominate film and television production. Together,

these companies – General Electric, Time Warner, Walt Disney, News Corp, Sony,

CBS and Viacom — reported

2006 revenues of more than 350 BILLION dollars. All we're asking for, in a fair

and respectful contract, is a minute fraction of those big bucks.

On Tuesday, we were in the financial district, picketing and leafleting the

moneyed men and women of Wall Street. Wednesday brought a huge crowd to the

World of Disney store on Fifth

Avenue, where we delivered a loud and pointed

message to the House of Mouse. And Thursday, despite rain and chill, you showed

up in force to demonstrate outside the corporate headquarters of Viacom, owners

of Paramount,

Comedy Central, Nickelodeon and MTV.

Joining us this week were many of our stalwart union allies, including friends

from SAG, AFTRA, Actors Equity, and the DGA, as well as Denis Hughes, president

of the New York State AFL-CIO, and Randi Weingarten, president of the United

Federation of Teachers. We continue to receive letters of support from creative

unions around the world, and this week, at the annual meeting of the

International Affiliation of Writers Guilds (IAWG) in Montreal, an International Day of Solidarity

was declared for Wednesday, November 28. Writers in our support will

demonstrate in Australia, Ireland, New

Zealand, English and French Canada, the United Kingdom, Mexico

and France.

Also this week, two opinion surveys reported that the American public strongly

backs the writers. A Pepperdine

University national poll

found that 63% of the public is on our side, 4% percent back the studios and

33% were unsure. In a poll of Los

Angeles residents, conducted by

SurveyUSA, 69% supported us and 8% the AMPTP.

The welcome return to negotiations is a result of all of this public pressure,

attention and activity. But we still have a long way to go. Remember, until

further notice, WE ARE STILL ON STRIKE.

As my companero in California,

Patric Verrone, wrote his members in the West last night, "Our work is not done

until we achieve a good contract and that is by no means assured. Accordingly,

what we achieve in negotiations will be a direct result of how successfully we

can keep up our determination and resolve."

Keep up the energy and the great work. Keep educating your family, friends and

neighbors about our issues. Go to our website,,

for information and updates. Check out the amazing blogs and videos not only on

the Guild website but such other sites as,,

and Show

them, e-mail them, to everyone you know.

This Tuesday, we'll be picketing the Sony Corporation. We'll be at their

corporate HQ, at 56th and Madison,

from 10-2. Join us.

We're contemplating other strategies for this week and next, too, so keep

checking the Guild website. Have a terrific week. And a very Happy Thanksgiving to you, your family

and friends. We've got a lot of good reasons to be thankful.


Michael Winship


Writers Guild of America,