Hollywood writers are going back to work after voting to end the three-month long strike which has crippled the U.S. entertainment industry.
A deal was reached last week (08Feb08) between the major media companies and the Writer’s Guild of America – whose members have been staging walkouts since November 2007 in an ongoing dispute over additional pay.
And now the union members have confirmed the strike’s end by voting in favour of the deal, which will give writers a larger share of royalties received through Internet broadcasts of their work.
Ballots took place in New York and Los Angeles and the back-to-work order was approved by 92.5 per cent of the 3,775 WGA members – with writers heading back to their employers immediately.
The news also guarantees that the Oscars ceremony will definitely go ahead on
24 February (08).
WGA spokesman Patric Verrone confirmed the news, “The strike is over. Our members have voted. Writers can go back to work.”
The strike is said to have cost Los Angeles’ film and TV industry at least $650 million (#330 million) in lost wages, with the wider economy losing over
$1 billion (#508 million).
TV shows were the hardest hit with production coming to a standstill on programs including House, Grey’s Anatomy and Desperate Housewives. Studio executives say it will take at least two months for new TV shows to emerge.