LA City Council holds hearing on strike


The Los Angeles City Council’s Housing, Community, and Economic Development Committee held a hearing on the economic impact of the WGA  strike on the local and regional economy. AMPTP declined to attend, but on their  behalf, the Motion Picture Association of America inserted a statement into the record: “The economic consequences of the strike cannot be measured solely by wages. In addition to lost wages are the costs from the lack of sales of goods and services that go into production, which is an estimated additional 300 million. It also means that scores of other businesses from prop houses to caterers that serve production daily in Los Angeles have also had to lay off numerous employees."
The WGA members, which showed up in force, issued a statement that the AMPTP’s "refusal shows a callous disregard for the people of Los Angeles. First these companies walked away from the bargaining table, and today they chose to ignore the economic hardship their actions have caused. The WGA would like to solve this problem and get everyone back to work, but that can’t be done until the other side comes back to the table."

The City Council approved a resolution urging the two sides to return to the bargaining table. On the subject of the strike’s financial impact, the government panel was told by one economist that the LA County economy could take a 380 million hit if the writers’ strike continues as long as the 1988 labor action, which last 22 weeks, according to the LA Weekly story.

John Bowman, chairman of the WGA’s negotiating committee, testified that the strike is about "fighting to maintain the livelihoods of Los Angeles’ middle-class writers working in the entertainment industry. The typical WGA member makes about 62,000 a year. It’s a strike we believe we were forced into and one that is now being prolonged by the AMPTP."