With the WGA’s franchise settlement with the Association of Talent Agents set to run out tonight at midnight, there at the moment are no plans for a return to the bargaining desk right now to attempt to attain an eleventh-hour settlement. “No formal talks are scheduled,” a supply near the stalled negotiations advised Deadline.
That, nonetheless, doesn’t rule out casual talks. On Friday, WGA West government director David Young mentioned, “We’re focused right now on meetings with individual agencies and will meet with the ATA when they make a meaningful reply to our last two offers.”
ATA government director Karen Stuart, nonetheless, advised Young yesterday, “The time is long past for simply pushing paper across the table. Let us know when you and your committee are prepared to have a negotiation that addresses all of the outstanding issues.”
As time runs out, there stay few issues the WGA and the ATA agree on. But they do agree about what’s going to occur first if no deal is reached tonight.
The ATA has advised its members that there are “several ways” they’ll know if their purchasers have fired their brokers. “WGA members have the option to submit an online form to the guild, giving the guild permission to terminate a writer’s relationship with his or her agency,” the ATA mentioned final evening. “In this instance, the guild will most likely send a list of the writers who have agreed to sever ties to each agency. Some individual writers may also choose to terminate their agents directly.”
Armed with the overwhelming help of its members for a brand new Agency Code of Conduct – which bans packaging charges and would pressure businesses to sever their ties with affiliated manufacturing entities – the guild has advised its members that it “has the option of unilaterally implementing” the Code that any company can be “required to follow as a condition of representing WGA members.”
The guild has advised its members that they don’t need to name their brokers and “personally fire them…You don’t need to communicate with your agency directly, unless you want to. This is a collective action by guild members. All you have to do is electronically sign a form terminating your representation agreement. The guild will deliver the terminations to the agency in a group. The guild has prepared a standard termination form which will be available on the website and activated if and when necessary and you will be able to eSign it.”
The guild, as early as Monday morning, may additionally inform producers and studio execs that it not has an settlement with the ATA. “If and when the Code of Conduct is implemented and after the membership is notified, the WGA will send out a notice to all signatory companies and producers telling them about the tools we have available and how to access them,” the guild mentioned.
Those instruments embody a Staffing Submission System to assist members discover jobs. “While no technological solution could fully replace the many functions of a good agent,” the guild says, “we believe this system – which lets writers submit their work directly to showrunners who are looking for writers for TV staffs – can help provide our members with continuing access to job opportunities if we have to walk away from non-franchised agencies.”
And the method of disenfranchising brokers may start as early as Sunday morning – after which each side shall be getting into uncharted waters – and a potential battle within the courts. The guild has threatened to sue the ATA on a number of events, and says that it too could possibly be sued by the ATA, as effectively.
“It’s possible the guild could be sued, and we are prepared,” the WGA has advised its members. “The guild has performed in depth authorized preparation and we imagine the legislation is on our…