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Writers Guild Strike FAQ
When did the strike begin?
On Friday, November 2nd, the WGAE Council and
WGAW Board unanimously voted to go on strike Monday, November 5th at 12:01 AM.
At that time, all Guild-covered work under the MBA stopped.
What are the rules governing what I
do during a strike?
The WGAE Council
has issued strike
rules to cover the actions and expectations of Guild members during a
strike, including the type
of work you may not do. They specifically prohibit pitching to or negotiating
with a struck company. In addition, you may not provide writing
services, sell, or option literary material to a struck company.
I still have health coverage?
Yes, the Writers' Guild-Industry Health Fund plan will
continue to cover all members for their current term. If you have any questions
about your coverage or eligibility, please call the plan at 800-227-7863 and
ask for "Eligibility." You can also visit www.wgaplans.org.
If you are at the end
of your eligibility period, the WGAE offers a number of complementary health
What about my pension benefits?
Producer-Writers Guild of America Pension Plan benefits are based on contributions on covered work. Your
Pension Plan will remain in place throughout the strike, although you will not
accrue new covered earnings for the duration of the strike.
If I need financial assistance
during the strike, what should I do?
The WGAE has established a Strike Fund to provide financial
assistance to members during the strike. Strike Fund benefits, in the
form of no interest loans, are available to striking WGAE members who face
demonstrable financial hardship. If you are in need of emergency assistance, please
review the Criteria for Strike Fund Assistance and Repayment Terms. The Strike Fund currently stands at $2.58 million.
Will I get paid for work I've already done?
You must and should be paid for any work done and delivered
before the work stoppage, per your contract. If the Company fails to pay you for
your work, they will be subject to grievance and arbitration. If this is your
situation, please contact the WGAE Contract Department at 212-767-7803.
How long will the strike last?
Until we achieve a fair contract, as outlined in
the WGA Negotiating Committee proposals. The purpose
of the strike is to withhold our written work and force
the companies and networks realize their success is dependent upon returning to
the bargaining table and negotiating a fair contract for screen and television
The script I wrote and delivered before the strike is now in production. Can
I offer minor assistance as it's produced?
No. During the strike you may not rewrite or polish a
previously delivered script. This is considered performing a writing service,
which is prohibited during a strike.
What am I allowed to
write during the strike? Can I write for non-MBA companies?
It is the WGA's
objective to expand our jurisdiction and cover more of our work. So, even if
the work is not currently covered by the MBA (and not governed by the strike),
it may be an area we're negotiating to cover — for example, work that is
produced for and distributed via new media. You should call the WGAE before
accepting any writing work during the strike.
Can I write for animation during a strike?
The strike rules apply to all network primetime animated
series covered under the MBA. However, writers wishing to perform writing
services for any other animated show or film should call the staff at the WGAE
before agreeing to perform such writing services, as they may be covered under
the strike rules.
Am I allowed to accept
other work in the entertainment industry during the strike?
You may do any type of work that is not television or screen
writing during a strike. We request you not accept any form of work for an MBA
signatory as our strike is intended to make it difficult for these companies to
continue normal business operations while we are on strike.
strike, when am I eligible for unemployment benefits?
Unemployment benefits depend on where your employer is
based. In New York, striking WGAE members are entitled to unemployment benefits after seven weeks (or less if replacement workers are hired). However, WGAE members should apply now in order to start the clock on this waiting period. Keep in mind that the benefit payment is determined by numerous factors,
and not everyone may be entitled to receive unemployment. Click here for
information on unemployment benefits.
What if there's a
picket line in front of a struck company where I have business other than
The WGAE discourages all WGAE members from crossing a WGAE
picket line. The success of this strike depends on the solidarity of our
membership and their commitment to withholding writing.
What do I do if someone
in the press approaches me?
Media (print, TV, radio, online) may call you unsolicited
for information and opinions on the strike and negotiations. You are under no
obligation to talk. If you choose to speak to the media, the WGAE is happy to
help you with facts or information prior to responding, as well as provide you
with advice and assistance. Contact Sherry Goldman, who handles the WGAE's
public relations, at 718-224-4133 or email her at email@example.com. Even if you don't need our help, let Sherry
know which media you've spoken to so we can track media coverage of our strike.
What do I do if asked
to violate the strike rules?
First, don't do the
work. The strike is only as effective as every member's commitment to standing
together in support of achieving a fair contract. In addition, violation of the
strike rules can be subject to disciplinary procedures by the WGAE. Second,
call the WGAE and report the incident.
What should I do if I
know someone is working in violation of the strike?
First, urge them to
stop their work. Second, call the WGAE
and let us know. The impact of our strike is dependent
on WGAE members stopping their work. It is critical that everyone obeys the
strike rules so that the power of this strike is felt by the networks, studios,
I'm not a member of
the Guild. What can I write and what can I not write? What should I do if I am asked to do MBA-covered work?
If you are not a
member of the WGA, we cannot tell you what you can or cannot write. However, the Guild can and will bar any
writer who performs struck work from future Guild membership.
still have questions. Who should I ask?
Check in with your Contract Captain;
they are the first to receive updates and information from the various strike
committees and WGAE staff. In addition, you may always give the WGAE office a
call at 212-767-7800. The entire WGAE staff is there to help you. Chris Aikin
and Leah Tedrick-Moutz in the organizing department will answer questions
specifically related to the strike rules.
This FAQ didn't answer my
Send your question to Susan DeCarava at
firstname.lastname@example.org and she'll
post an answer as soon as possible.
Strike Rules >
about Contract 2007 >