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In the words of those infamous Australian intellectuals, for those about to rock, we salute you. And for those who follow the news, you will know that the writers have been on strike since November 5, 2007. There is a lot going on with the strike that I’m sure the general public is not aware of.
How much has the WGA writers’ strike cost the writers so far? Well, here is a counter from the studios’ collective bargaining organization’s site www.amptp.org.
Estimated losses are based on data supplied by WGA West on initial compensation paid to its members in 2006. For the purposes of this estimate, last year’s reported initial compensation of $1,051,320,000 is averaged over a 365-day year beginning when the WGA went out on strike on November 5.
What about the rest of Hollywood? Well, it’s hard to know for sure but the AMPTP have another counter for the cost of the strike to members of IATSE. What is IATSE? IATSE is the union that represents all the below-the-line workers on a film or television show. This is everyone from hair and makeup to set dressers and grips. Pretty much everyone who isn’t a producer or a member of the WGA (writers), DGA (directors, assistant directors and production managers) or SAG (actors).
Wage losses to Los Angeles-area IATSE crew members are estimated from an analysis of contributions to Motion Picture Industry Pension & Health Plans. As you can see so far, by striking the writers have already cost themselves more than what they are supposedly striking about.
What about the income lost to director and producers? Well, so far I have not been able to find any numbers on this so if anyone out there has got some numbers please send them my way.
In addition, agencies and production companies have been laying off workers. Warner Bros. alone may lay off close to 1000 jobs because of the writers’ strike. Many studios have been cutting off their deals with independent production companies thus forcing more layoffs.
Oh, but there’s more money lost than what has been mentioned so far. According to The Los Angeles Time, the writers’ strike is costing the city of Los Angeles over $20 million a day. How is that possible? There are many businesses that depend on revenue from the entertainment industry. For example, prop houses, special effects companies, floral companies, equipment rental companies, payroll companies, etc. The list goes on.
And this is all because the WGA is trying to make a power play.Buy the Moose a cup of coffee.