Hollywood Unfair Wages Strike
Beginning in May of this year, the Writers Guild of America enacted a strike to protest against unfair labor practices from the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers. Founded in 1933, the Writers Guild of America, or WGA for short, was a labor union consisting of writers and authors across the American West. Underneath the powerful hierarchy within the realms of Hollywood, these writers banded together to form an alliance that could assure their rights and prevent any malpractice from coming to them. One of the most famous refutation instances from the WGA was in 1960 when a young Ronald Reagan led the 21-week-long strike that inevitably won better pay, confirmed pension funds, and granted access to health care. In 2023, the stakes are similar, as the 11,000 members of the WGA have continued their now 10-week-long strike in search of better compensation, working conditions, and even regulations over the use of AI in future projects.
On Thursday, news broke that other Hollywood labor unions, such as the Screen Actors Guild – American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, will be fighting alongside the WGA, the first tandem strike since 1960. With all participating group members nearly 180,000 strong, the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers has hastened its approach to present a deal that works for all parties. With nearly the entirety of the workforce on strike, the most recent failed negotiations have practically closed Hollywood, halting all film and television productions. Disney CEO Bob Iger commented on the situation, stating that negotiation successes with the Director’s Guild will hopefully translate into the other unions. He lastly stated that the pandemic had already greatly impaired the film industry and the strikes will have a “very damaging effect on the whole business”.
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