The DGA deal is neither here, nor there

by Paul William Tenny

You'll be reading a lot about the DGA deal over the coming days, but here's a few things I can tell you about it right now: it's the dreaded neither here nor there kind of deal, and it reflects very badly on the AMPTP.

The deal has wage gains which are great, and zero rollbacks. The AMPTP started their negotiations with the WGA with so many big rollbacks on the table that the entire idea of even talking was pointless, yet when they went to their favorite bedfellows, they treated them with respect. Even when the AMPTP walked away from the table for the second time, they were still demanding unacceptable rollbacks that apparently were never delivered to the DGA.

The actions of the AMPTP couldn't be any more demonstrably heinous.
While the directors did manage to secure jurisdiction over new media, the deal they accepted was not what writers are really looking for -- the residual formula is much closer to the old one for DVDs (home video) than what the WGA was looking for (2.5% and willing to bargain down perhaps as low as 1.5-1.2%)

I think the DGA barely managed .7%, and only with lots of "ifs" and "buts" attached. That's probably not going to fly with either the WGA or SAG, and the first thing out of their mouths related to new media is how they both intend to bargain upwards from that number, something the AMPTP will steadfastly refuse to do.

And the strike will continue into June and July, and then SAG will go on strike, and the AMPTP will have to cave to the higher numbers while the DGA will sit there, astonished, wondering how they got a worse three-year-deal than did the other two unions.

Predictably, the AMPTP has asked the WGA to enter negotiations again for what will be the third time, after two walk-outs by the producers. I simply don't see this new set going anywhere until the AMPTP finally accepts that if they want scripts in the future, they are going to have to pay more than four cents for new media.

More later..
in Labor


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