By Juan Pablo Pardo
Translated by Rosa S. Valle
On Tuesday, September 26, the Writers Guild of America (WGA) announced that they had reached a tentative agreement with companies in the industry, primarily based in Hollywood and New York. As a result, the historic 148-day strike came to an end on Wednesday, September 27, with significant gains for the workers.
This agreement, which the union leadership described as “exceptional,” still needs to be ratified by the votes of its members between October 2 and 9. It is the result of the massive 148-day strike that took place between May 2 and September 27. This strike had a major international impact, halting the production of many movies and TV shows.
It also received crucial support from the Screen Actors Guild (SAG), with both industry unions striking together for the first time in over 60 years. In fact, SAG has not reached an agreement yet, so, many Hollywood productions will remain halted.
The strike was extensive and came very close to becoming the longest in the union’s history. It garnered significant support through picket lines outside major studios and television studios, putting substantial pressure on the companies.
With this show of force, an agreement was reached that included advancements in nearly all the areas demanded by the workers, such as wage increases and compensation, residual payments for programs on streaming platforms, the publication of viewership figures for all programs, including on streaming platforms, labor conditions in “writers’ rooms,” and guidelines and regulations on the use of artificial intelligence.
This victory is indivisible from the broader context, where there is a genuine wave of unionization and support for labor struggles, especially among young workers. Clearly, the unity between writers and actors bolstered the strike and allowed the WGA to secure this contract.
The actors’ union strike is still ongoing, and this victory has provided significant reinforcement for that conflict, demonstrating that with determination in the struggle, better labor conditions can be achieved even against these multi-billion dollar companies.