Writers initiate separate talks


With no talks scheduled with Hollywood’s major studios, the WGA has begun negotiating with several small independent television and movie production companies on new employment agreements, John Bowman, the union’s chief negotiator, told reporters last week at a news conference.

Bowman said the interim contracts between the union and independent producers probably would require them to accept any agreement the union ultimately reaches with the big studios. The plan would work if enough smaller producers sign deals to bring the studios back to the bargaining table.

"We have a number of companies that are interested in signing these agreements," Bowman said. "If you get a critical mass of people going back to business and it puts pressure on the other companies, that’s something we would do."