The Writers Guild of America (WGA) have been on strike for the past 4 weeks in order to receive better contracts. Friday marked a special day for the strikers, as it was the first time that numerous unions had come together in support of them. The United Teachers of Los Angeles, the Service Employees International Union, the Screen Actors Guild and the Teamsters were some of the unions that were present to show their solidarity.
At the rally, members of the unions provided words of encouragement to the strikers and reminded them that they are not alone in their battle for fair wages and benefits. This show of support could potentially be integral for helping the strikers stay strong in the face of what could be a lengthy and difficult battle with the media companies.
The WGA has been in a protracted battle with media companies over residuals since 2007 when the last strike began. At the center of this conflict is the demand from the WGA that they receive a bigger fraction of the profits that studios make from streaming services such as Hulu, Netflix and Amazon Prime. The studios are refusing to budge on their current offer of a 0.3 percent increase in residuals, while the WGA is holding out for an increase of 0.7 percent.
During the rally, union members also spoke about how the strike could affect not only the writers, but many other workers in the industry, including those outside of the unions. If the strike were to go on for a prolonged period of time, it would mean that those in the industry who are still working would see a decrease in their income due to the disruption of production.
The rallies have been incredibly impactful for the strikers, as they offer a platform for them to stand together and amplify their demands. It is clear by now that the media companies are not likely to respond to the WGA’s demands anytime soon, so it is important that the unions continue to stand together to show their support and encourage the strikers to stay strong.