Monday, November 5, 2007

I'll take: The Pen is Mightier for $500 Million

Today at 12:01 am the Writer's Guild went on strike for the first time in 20 years (Here and here.) The major issue is that since writer's often go for long periods without work, they depend on residuals from reruns and DVD sales etc (from which, people like Jerry Seinfeld makes millions for doing nothing at all). For each DVD the writers recieve only $.04. Now in the age of internet streaming, I Tunes downloads, etc, the writer's are getting even less, especially since their last contract was negotiated in 1988, years BEFORE DVD sales overtook VHS sales.

Already, the WGA has amassed a $12.5 million strike fund to help the picketing writers who have organized over 300 captains to lead the actions outside of studios around the country. Also, in a move that could be pivotal for the success of the strike, WGA leaders are reaching out to the Teamsters whose disruption would put the studios in a major crunch. This act of solidarity would be a huge step in building confidence in a labor movement reeling from major concessions from the UAW over recent months.

The last strike lasted over 5 months and cost the industry some $500 million.