WGA and AMPTP to Meet Saturday as Talks Go Down to Final 72 Hours

The Writers Guild of America and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers will meet again on Saturday, as they try to reach a deal before the writers’ contract expires at midnight on Monday.

The negotiations are expected to go right up to the deadline. If no deal is reached, a strike could begin as early as Tuesday morning.

The negotiators have been meeting regularly at the AMPTP office in Sherman Oaks. Though there have been no breakthroughs, there also has been no indication that talks are breaking down.

Production has slowed in Los Angeles, according to data from FilmLA and anecdotal reports from labor leaders. As of Friday morning, FilmLA — which handles permits for location shoots — did not have any shoots scheduled for Tuesday or afterward for scripted shows.

The other unions have spent much of the week telling members what to expect if a strike is called. At least some production is expected to continue, as all of the other guilds have contracts with no-strike clauses in place.

Members of the Teamsters and IATSE have been instructed that they can be replaced if they refuse to cross picket lines, but they cannot be permanently fired or disciplined.

Matthew Loeb, the international president of IATSE, held a meeting Friday with the film and TV locals across the country. In the meeting, he said there is “presently no new, or known, information about the status of the negotiations,” according to an email from Chuck Parker, the national executive director of the Art Directors Guild.

Loeb laid out the options — a strike, a deal, or a delay — but he also stated that “he doubts an extension is in the cards,” Parker wrote.

Negotiations began on March 20, and ran two weeks. The two sides then largely took a break, meeting only twice in two weeks, while the WGA obtained a strike authorization vote from its members. The talks resumed on April 17.

The WGA is seeking a minimum staffing level for TV shows, increases in minimums and a streaming residual formula that would factor in the success of a program. The guild is also seeking higher compensation for showrunners and other writers who make $400,000 and above. The studios are resistant to opening up viewership data for their streaming platforms, and are believed to be opposed to a minimum staffing level. The sides continue, however, to bargain and exchange proposals.

Jazz Tangcay contributed to this story.

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