WGA Members Overwhelmingly Approve New Contract – Officially Ending Strike

Members of the The Writers Guild of America (WGA) picket outside Paramount Pictures on Friday, May 5, 2023, in Los Angeles. (Credit: Shutterstock)

Members of the Writers Guild of America have overwhelmingly ratified a new contract with major Hollywood studios and streamers, the guild announced Monday.

The vote officially ends the strike, which began on May 2.

Of the 8,525 eligible ballots cast by WGA members, 99 percent approved the contract, while one percent voted against it, the guild said in a letter signed by Meredith Stiehm, WGA West president, and Lisa Takeuchi Cullen, WGA East president.

“Through solidarity and determination, we have ratified a contract with meaningful gains and protections for writers in every sector of our combined membership,” Stiehm said in a statement. “Together we were able to accomplish what many said was impossible only six months ago.”

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The guild called on the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP), which represents the studios and streamers, to work out a “fair contract” with SAG-AFTRA, which represents actors — who’ve been on strike since July.

“Until the studios make a deal that addresses the needs of performers, WGA members will be on the picket lines, walking side-by-side with SAG-AFTRA in solidarity,” said Takeuchi Cullen.

The WGA and AMPTP reached a newly-negotiated contract on Sunday, Sept. 24. The boards of the WGA East and WGA West both announced they were backing the agreement and urged the union’s 11,500 members to do the same.

The three-year agreement increases pay by 5 percent upon ratification, 4 percent in May 2024 and 3.5 percent in May 2025, the guild has previously said.

The new contract also includes increases in health and pension contributions. Additionally, residuals will rise when TV shows and movies are re-aired outside the United States and a bonus structure is being implemented for the most popular shows on streaming. The deal also includes limits on the studios’ use of artificial intelligence in the script-writing process.

A summary of the contract can be viewed here.

Since WGA picketing ended, late-night shows and unionized talk shows have returned to the air. Saturday Night Live is set to return this weekend with host Pete Davidson and first-time musical guest, rapper Ice Spice.

SAG-AFTRA remains on strike. Contract talks between the union and the AMPTP continued Monday.