General News

Strike talks to resume

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Dec 31, 1899 | 7:00pm EST

So far, so good.

As the negotiations between the Writers Guild of America and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers went on through the early morning hours Wednesday, extending beyond the WGA contract expiration deadline, both factions agreed to resume the talks later today.

As reported by Reuters, WGA spokeswoman Cheryl Rhoden, came out moments after the 12:01 a.m. Wednesday expiration deadline to tell the waiting press that "the talks are continuing, and we're working very hard to reach an agreement. That's it."

When asked why the talks were still going on, she replied: "Quite a few issues are being discussed."

AMPTP spokeswoman Barbara Brogliatti, accompanying Rhoden, did not comment.

A small contingent of writers showed up in front of the WGA headquarters, where the negotiations are being held, to hold a candlelight vigil 30 minutes before the contract expired.

"I'm just here to show my support," Ali Rushfield, a writer for the upcoming Fox TV show Undeclared, told The Associated Press. "We're also here to show we trust them."

Before the news blackout was imposed when the talks resumed April 17, the two sides were deadlocked on roughly $100 million gap, approximately the amount it takes to make one blockbuster movie. John Wells, the WGA's president, is asking for an average annual raise of about 3 percent, mostly coming from residuals from international sales, cable and video/DVD sales. The producers have repeatedly said that they cannot afford this because of the rising costs in production and the shaky economical climate.

A vote from the members of the WGA to authorize a strike, a mandatory process in order to officiate a walkout, has not been issued. At this point, the next step the two sides will take is still unclear.

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