The Writers Guild of Canada (WGC) says it is supporting the Writers Guild of America (WGA) strike “to the fullest extent possible.”
Some 11,500 WGA members went out on strike May 1, upon termination of their collective agreement after failed negotiations with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP). According to the WGA, the rise of streaming has given way to a “gig economy inside a union workforce” with little guaranteed employment, increasingly strained working conditions, and lower pay.
The Canadian union joins its counterparts in Australia and the UK in supporting WGA members, with the WGC saying the compensation issues raised by U.S. members are the same concerns affecting writers around the world.
“The compensation issues that pushed WGA members to strike apply to all writers in the digital streaming age,” said WGC President Alex Levine, in a statement. “WGC members support WGA writers in their fight for fairness, and we applaud their strength and collective resolve.”
For the duration of the WGA strike, dual members of the WGC and the WGA, residing in the U.S., must adhere to strike rules.
Canadian WGC members may continue to work under the Independent Production Agreement (IPA) which remains in force until Dec. 31. Members may not accept “struck work,” including any U.S.-based productions or productions already under a WGA contract. Canadian residents who are dual members of both unions, may continue to work for producers who are properly signatory to the IPA, with the exception of work under a WGA contract.
The impact on American productions shooting in Canada is still unclear as only those without complete shooting scripts would be affected in the short term.
“The WGC, along with writers guilds around the world, stands in solidarity with the WGA in their strike action for fair compensation for writers,” added Victoria Shen, Executive Director, WGC. “We hope for a swift and fair resolution.”
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