No progress reported in negotiations to end Hollywood writers' strike

2007-12-07 19:26:35 xinhuanet

LOS ANGELES, Dec.7 (Xinhua) -- Negotiations between Hollywood studios and the Writers Guild of America (WGA) continued on Friday, with no sign of progress.

As the talks entered into a fourth consecutive day, both sides issued statements, accusing the other of stalling the negotiations.

Studio officials submitted additional proposals to the WGA in hopes of ending the 33-day-old writers' strike.

In a letter to writers, Patric Verrone, president of WGA, West,

and Michael Winship, president of WGA, East, said they want to see negotiations continue without interruption through Christmas and New Year's holidays.

"The Writers Guild will remain at the table every day, for as long as it takes, to make a fair deal," they wrote.

They also told guild members that producers were prolonging the

strike by refusing to make any new offers.

"For one, we've heard that one or more of the companies are prepared to throw away the spring and fall TV season, plus features, and prolong the strike. Aside from the devastating effect this would have on the unions, workers and their families in this industry, it would certainly explain the AMPTP's refusal to put any new proposals, even a bad one, on the table," they wrote.

But the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) insisted the guild letter contains a series of factual mistakes.

"The producers did present a new proposal, the New Economic Partnership, which would increase the average working writer's salary to more than 230,000 dollars a year. The WGA's organizers have yet to respond directly to that proposal, preferring insteadto focus on jurisdictional issues in the areas of reality and animation television," according to the AMPTP's statement.

Producers also accuse WGA organizers of spending "relatively little" time at the negotiating table.

The two sides made little progress since bargaining resumed last week, the Los Angeles Times reported.

This morning was spent discussing various issues, including a guild proposal for increasing residuals for original premium cable

programming and streaming of movies online.

In the afternoon, writers waited several hours as negotiators for the AMPTP worked on additional proposals.

The strike began Nov. 5, with the dispute focusing on residual

payments to writers for work distributed via the Internet, videoiPods, cell phones and other new media.

Most scripted primetime series have suspended production while all the late-night talk shows on the major broadcast networks have

been forced into reruns, except for NBC's "Last Call with Carson Daly," whose host crossed the picket line last week and returned to work without his writing staff.