Strike Authorization Vote
Upon the unanimous recommendation of the MBA Negotiating Committee, the WGAW Board and WGAE Council conducted a strike authorization vote (SAV) from April 11-17, 2023.
A SAV is a vote by the Guilds’ memberships to authorize the WGAW Board and WGAE Council to call a strike, if necessary, after the expiration of the current MBA on May 1. Asking for a SAV is a step that unions take to demonstrate resolve and support for the bargaining agenda, and to prepare for a possible strike, particularly in negotiations where critical issues are at stake. With a historic level of participation, 97.85% of the participating writers voted to authorize to a strike if the AMPTP does not offer an acceptable deal by May 1.
SAV Frequently Asked QuestionsScroll to Top
What is the strike authorization vote (SAV)?
The SAV is a vote by the Guild’s membership to authorize the WGAW Board and WGAE Council to call a strike, if necessary, after the expiration of the current MBA on May 1.
A vote to authorize a strike, particularly by a wide margin, gives the Negotiating Committee leverage to make the best deal possible, and entrusts leadership with the power to declare a strike after contract expiration if needed.
In 2007 Guild members took a strike authorization vote and subsequently went on strike to secure jurisdiction over the internet and residuals for reuse on streaming services. In 2017, Guild members took a strike authorization vote to save our health plan, and that member leverage empowered us to win sufficient contributions for the health plan among other gains and we did not strike. This year, Guild members took a strike authorization vote because the studios have yet to show they are willing to address the crisis we face.
How many votes are needed to pass the SAV?
A simple majority of Yes votes cast authorizes the Board and Council to call a strike after our contract expiration date. However, an overwhelming majority is necessary to send a strong message to the studios that the membership is united in support of the bargaining agenda. SAVs were supported by a 90% Yes vote in 2007 and a 96% Yes vote in 2017.
This negotiation, 97.85% of writers voted in support of the SAV.
If the members approve the SAV is a strike inevitable?
No. The hope is that the studios will realize the membership’s resolve and sufficiently address the proposals on the table by the May 1 contract expiration. The WGAW Board and the WGAE Council will only call a strike after our contract expires if it is necessary to achieve our goals and the membership is willing to fight for the agenda.
If there is a strike when would it start?
A strike in 2023 could start as early as 12:01 am Pacific Time on Tuesday, May 2. Guild members would be notified of a strike’s start date as soon as a decision is made. As always, writers should be very wary of rumors about a possible strike, including its timing, and rely only on official communication from WGA leadership.
What happens if writers go on strike?
The WGA leadership may call a strike only after the membership has authorized it and the current contract has expired. If a strike is called, members are prohibited from performing covered writing services for companies that don’t have an agreement with the WGA. To demonstrate unity and resolve, writers picket and engage in other collective actions that help put pressure on the AMPTP to better their offer. Negotiations can continue during a strike.
By striking and withholding their labor, writers use their leverage to secure meaningful economic gains for all union members. A strike can also be financially challenging for individual writers. In the event of a strike, the WGAE and WGAW will each have a strike fund committee to oversee their respective strike funds for members facing economic hardships due to the action. WGAW members may also be eligible for assistance through the Good and Welfare Emergency Assistance Fund. WGAE members may also be eligible for assistance through Union Plus’ strike benefits and hardship fund. More specific information will be available in the event of a strike.
Social Media Toolkit
Use this social media toolkit to show your support for the Guild’s agenda.