DGA Leaders Say They’re “Prepared For A Fight” In Upcoming Film & TV Contract Negotiations

c-title pmc-u-font-size-20 pmc-u-font-size-38@tablet pmc-u-font-size-46@desktop-xl u-text-align-center@mobile-max u-letter-spacing-0025 pmc-u-line-height-normal u-line-height-45@tablet pmc-u-padding-t-1 pmc-u-padding-t-050@mobile-max”>DGA Leaders Say They’re “Prepared For A Fight” In Upcoming Film & TV Contract Negotiations

By David Robb

David Robb

Labor Editor

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November 17, 2022 12:58pm

Directors Guild of America; Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers

DGA leaders have told their members that the guild’s upcoming contract talks with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers “will not be an ordinary negotiation” and that “if necessary, we are prepared for a fight.”

Avnet, left, and Hollander

The DGA’s current contract expires June 30, and no date has been set for the start of negotiations.

The DGA has only struck the industry once in its entire history – back in 1987. That strike only lasted 15 minutes on the West Coast, and for three hours and 15 minutes on the East Coast, before a deal was reached.

RELATED: Hollywood’s Covid Protocols To Remain In Place As Negotiations Continue

In a message to their members Thursday, DGA Negotiations Chair Jon Avnet and National Executive Director Russell Hollander said:

“We have been preparing for more than a year to execute our Guild’s highest purpose: to protect your economic and creative rights. We are ready for negotiations and, if necessary, we are prepared for a fight. These negotiations will shape the future of our industry.

“This promises to be an extremely challenging negotiating environment – one of the most difficult and complicated we have faced in many years – and your strength and support will be more important than ever.

“The industry has changed and the pace of that change has accelerated significantly since we concluded our last agreements in March 2020 as each of the major studios have now launched their own streaming platforms and are prioritizing those streaming platforms over everything else. Our industry and the entire country are challenged by inflation, economic headwinds and a possible recession, and the Employers are focused on their bottom lines. This will not be an ordinary negotiation.

“That’s why we want you to know we are doubling down on our commitment to fight hard, fight smart and win an exceptionally strong contract in 2023.”

According to Avnet and Hollander, “Big issues are at stake,” including:

  • Increasing streaming residuals based on real-world, global value.
  • Winning strong wage increases that account for cost of living growth.
  • Securing our world-class Pension and Health Plans.
  • Fighting to protect the role and vision of all directors, and, in particular, television directors.
  • Increasing diversity and strengthening the voice of under-represented people throughout the industry.
  • Improving safety on the set.
  • Increased transparency from our employers.

“Our strength at the negotiating table comes from you,” they told their members. “United, we have proven time and time again that we can win strong contracts with big gains, even in tough environments. For example, the DGA was the first union to successfully negotiate terms and conditions – including jurisdiction and residuals – for content made for new media. Since then, audiences and the industry alike have shifted ever faster to a streaming world, and we’ve been right there, winning major improvements in every subsequent negotiation. This is what we do.

“We are proud of our track record of winning and shaping a changing industry to benefit our members more. And that’s what we’re committed to doing in this round of bargaining.

“Together with Negotiations Co-chairs Todd Holland and Karen Gaviola, and the Board-appointed Negotiating Committee, made up of more than 80 members from all categories, genres, and geographic areas – we are mobilized and laser-focused on the battle ahead. And our Creative Rights negotiations are on a parallel track with a dedicated negotiating committee, led by Christopher Nolan and Jonathan Mostow in features, and Thomas Schlamme and Nicole Kassell on the TV side.

“Our power comes from you – our members – standing together to fight for what we deserve. With the collective strength and firepower of the DGA membership beside us, we will tackle whatever challenges come our way. Together, we know we can win.”

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