Important Contract 2007 Update from WGAE President Michael Winship

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

I want to fill you in on the events of the last 24 hours. As you

know, on Wednesday, just a few hours before the expiration of our

contract, the AMPTP brought talks to a halt with their insistence that

no further negotiations could take place unless we immediately

surrendered to their demand that we not only accept the current DVD

residual formula without any increase, but extend the exact same,

ludicrous rate to Internet downloads.

This came after all our attempts at a meaningful exchange of ideas

and proposals were rebuffed and met with calls for Draconian rollbacks.

Through the course of negotiations, we have never received ANY

counterproposals to our serious proposals — not only on DVD's and

Internet downloads, but other issues important to us — especially new

media and expanded jurisdiction in such areas as reality programming,

animation and basic cable.

The members of the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television

Producers are using fear and attempts at intimidation to maintain a

status quo that makes no sense in a 21st century world of rapidly

expanding global markets and new media. They are after our livelihoods

with a short-sighted strategy that would reduce residuals by as much as

85%, drastically undermining our economic security and the very

creativity on which they rely. This will not stand.

Thursday

night, some 3000 members of the Writers Guild of America, West, packed

the Los Angeles Convention Center. I must tell you that it was a

remarkable and deeply moving show of solidarity. I and several Guild,

East members and alternates of the negotiating committee – Andrew

Bergman, Vice President Bob Schneider, and Council members John

Auerbach and Melissa Salmons – were in attendance.

At the

meeting, the negotiating committee made a report and announced its

unanimous recommendation that we implement the strike authorization

approved so overwhelmingly by our joint membership two weeks ago.

Today,

Friday, November 2, the WGAE Council and the WGAW Board will each meet

to vote on the negotiating committee's recommendation, and if approved,

determine the exact day and time a strike will commence. Immediately

upon the conclusion of those meetings, you will be informed via e-mail

of the results, which also will be posted on our website, www.wgaeast.org.

Additional news and information are there as well, including ways you

can volunteer your time to help us win this important fight.

There

is a fair and respectful deal to be made if only the studios and

networks will drop their obstructive stance and bargain. So far they

have not. And so, sadly, we must act.

In solidarity,

Michael Winship

President

Writers Guild of America, East