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Encyclopedia > Writers Guild of America

The Writers Guild of America (WGA) is the collective bargaining representative, or labor union, for writers in the motion picture and television industries in the United States. As of 2003, it claims more than 11,000 members nationwide. Though it calls itself a labor union, it serves in many capacities as a professional standards organization and even runs the WGA script registration service which non-members can use. Collective bargaining is the process of negotiation between representatives of a union and employers (represented by management) in respect of the terms and conditions of employment of employees, such as wages, hours of work, working conditions and grievance procedures, and about the rights and responsibilities of trade unions. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... 2003 (MMIII) was a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... The WGA script registration service is run by the Writers Guild of America (WGA) to protect the copyright in literary property useful in the US entertainment field. ...


In addition to establishing minimum employment standards for its members, the WGA is the final arbiter of screenwriting credit for film and television programs made under its jurisdiction. Indeed, the issue of proper credit was one of the driving forces behind the creation in 1921 of the Screen Writers Guild, the WGA's predecessor organization. Today, the Guild also provides health and pension benefits for its members, issues the Writers Guild of America Awards, and runs the WGA script registration service to help writers prove authorship of their works. Credits for A Christmas Story. ... Annual awards given out by the Writers Guild of America for outstanding achievements in film, TV, or radio writing. ... The WGA script registration service is run by the Writers Guild of America (WGA) to protect the copyright in literary property useful in the US entertainment field. ...


For historical reasons, the WGA is divided into two separate unions, the Writers Guild of America, east and Writers Guild of America, west. Generally, a writer who lives east of the Mississippi River belongs to the east branch, while a writer who lives to the west of it belongs to the west. However, under the terms of the affiliation agreement between the two Guilds, any writer who works in theatrical films is automatically a member of the Writers Guild of America, west no matter where he or she lives. The two unions are currently engaged in a non-binding mediation process to determine the disposition of the dues of members who live in the east but who derive all or part of their income from film work. This article is about the river in the United States. ...


The current president of the WGAw is Patric Verrone. The current vice-president of the WGAw is David N. Weiss. Patric Miller Verrone is an American television writer and labor leader. ... David N. Weiss is an American writer and labor leader. ...

Contents


The 2004 WGAw Elections

In 2004, WGA West was embroiled in a scandal, during which leadership changed more than three different times in only a few weeks. Victoria Riskin, re-elected as president in 2003, was determined to be ineligible for the post because she had not worked as a writer recently enough to qualify. She resigned and was replaced by vice-president Charles Holland, who resigned a few weeks later when questions arose about statements he had made regarding his college and military career. After Riskin resigned but before Holland left, the guild board appointed Daniel Petrie, Jr. as vice-president, and assumed the presidency upon Holland's departure. Petrie had been elected president of the Guild before Riskin. 2004 (MMIV) was a leap year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar. ... 2003 (MMIII) was a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Daniel Petrie, Jr. ...


The U.S. Department of Labor supervised a new election in September 2004 between Eric Hughes and Daniel Petrie, Jr.. Hughes accused the union of being run by insiders only for the benefit of famous writers, at the expense of new or little-known writers. Hughes presented a number of documents on his website, which he alleged proved his accusations. The United States Department of Labor is a Cabinet department of the United States government responsible for occupational safety, wage and hour standards, unemployment insurance benefits, re-employment services, and some economic statistics. ... Daniel Petrie, Jr. ...


Petrie won the election by a 71% to 26% margin. (The remaining three percentage points represented votes for write-in candidates, or ballots that were left blank.)


The 2005 WGAw Elections

In the first election after the 2004 scandals, all but two candidates for every open position declared allegiance to one of two slates: "Writers United" and "Common Sense." Art Eisenson, one of the two independent candidates, would later drop out of the race, leaving David S. Weiss as the lone independent. Art Eisenson is an American television writer and labor activist. ... David S. Weiss is an American comedy writer. ...


Led by animation writer Patric Verrone, Writers United candidates ran on a platform centered on the need for the WGA to extend its jurisdiction by spending up to 30% of its budget on organizing reality television, video games, and other areas not generally under Guild jurisdiction. The Common Sense candidates, led by feature writer Ted Elliott, had a more diverse set of viewpoints, although all agreed that the 30% budget target was inappropriate. Patric Miller Verrone is an American television writer and labor leader. ... Ted Elliott is an American screenwriter and labor leader. ...


Verrone, the first candidate in Guild history to hire an outside campaign advisor, ran a tightly focused campaign centered on meeting individual Guild members in small groups. After meeting with some 900 WGAw members in a variety of settings, Writers United swept into office by large margin, capturing the presidency, vice-presidency, secretary-treasurership, and all eight open board positions. With one of the highest turnouts of any Guild election, Verrone was elected with 68% of the vote. The lowest vote-getter was David S. Weiss, who was also the lone remaining candidate not on either slate, leading some observers to predict an era of increased slate focus in Guild politics. David S. Weiss is an American comedy writer. ...


The Writers United victory was also seen by many Hollywood observers as a harbinger of a Guild that would take a harder line in future negotiations with studios.


WGA Awards

The WGA also administers the Writers Guild of America Awards which have honoured screenwriting achievement in various categories since 1949. Annual awards given out by the Writers Guild of America for outstanding achievements in film, TV, or radio writing. ...


See also

Credits for A Christmas Story. ... The WGA script registration service is run by the Writers Guild of America (WGA) to protect the copyright in literary property useful in the US entertainment field. ... Writing circles are groups of like-minded people needing support for their work, either through writing critiques, workshops or classes, or just encouragement. ...

External links

  • WGA West official website (wga.org)
  • WGA East official website (wgaeast.org)

  Results from FactBites:
 
SCEENWRITERS GUILD OF AMERICA - Script Registration, copyright... (691 words)
Writers Guild of America: Registration with the Writers Guild offers similar protection with respect specifically to claims of authorship and date of completion.
Writers are invited to submit material to be archived by the Writers Guild to protect their work.
The WGA Registration Service has been set up to assist writers in establishing the completion dates of particular pieces of their literary property written for the fields of radio, theatrical and television motion pictures, video cassettes/discs and interactive media.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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