Hollywood, CA—Major Los Angeles-area studios found themselves once again surrounded by picketers as the Writers Guild of America (WGA) strike extended into its fourth week, causing a significant impact on Hollywood’s entertainment production and showing no signs of resolution.
In a recent communication to its members, the WGA announced a change in the picketing schedule for this Friday. Instead of picketing outside the studios, writers were invited to participate in a historic, multi-union rally held in downtown Los Angeles.
“We’re altering the usual L.A. studio picket schedule to allow writers to join a momentous, multi-union rally,” stated the message from the WGA.
The rally saw writers joining forces with members from various unions, including IATSE Local 11, AFSCME District Council 36, Teamsters Local 399, Teamsters Local 396, SEIU Locals 99, 721, and 1000, AFM Local 47, and UTLA.
Since the strike began on May 2, picketing has become a daily routine outside major production facilities such as Amazon Studios in Culver City, CBS’ Studio City lot, Television City, The Walt Disney Co.’s corporate headquarters in Burbank, Fox Studios lot, Netflix’s Hollywood headquarters, Paramount Studios in Hollywood, Sony Studios in Culver City, Universal Studios, and Warner Bros. in Burbank.
In an email addressed to its members, the WGA acknowledged the challenges of being on strike without receiving pay.
“I know it’s emotionally and physically difficult to be out there,” wrote Danielle Sanchez-Witzel, a member of the WGA Negotiating Committee, in the email. “However, it is essential that we remain out there in large numbers. Through picketing, leafleting, and public demonstrations, along with the withholding of labor, we are taking action. We are now a significant part of a National and Global Labor Movement.”
The WGA’s key demands include improvements in various areas, particularly higher residual pay for streaming programs with larger viewership, aiming to move away from the existing model that pays a standard rate regardless of a show’s success.