Members of Writers Guild of America to Vote on Possible Union Strike

Members of the Writers Guild of America will begin casting their vote to decide whether to authorize a union strike.

NBC Universal, Inc.

Thousands of Hollywood's film writers and producers from the Writers Guild of America could walk off the job if a union strike is authorized.

Members will begin their voting Tuesday night which will decide if the union will go on a strike. If members vote in favor of a strike that does not mean they will automatically strike. It means that they have authorized to call a strike once the current labor contract with studios expires.

That date is set for May 1.

The members have until next Monday to cast their vote on the strike. The group is demanding an increase in pay and residuals specifically over streaming content.

Members of the union argue that writer compensation hasn't improved in years while profits have increased. They say they are not standing down until they receive the compensation, they say, they deserve.

Entertainment attorney and journalist Jonathan Handel has followed union negotiations and is weighing in on the looming strike.

"If those negotiations are unsuccessful and we believe they will be, then they will most likely call a strike," Handel said. "You'll see shows go dark in almost a pre-determined order nighttime comment shows, political shows, soap operas, one-hour dramas, ultimately movies."

The last time the WGA went on strike was about 15 years ago over DVD residuals. Members were off the job for about 100 days.

Members of the Alliance of Motion Pictures and TV Producers which represents the studios say they are committed to reaching a deal with the writers.

"We are all partners in charting the future of our business together and fully committed to reaching a mutually beneficial deal with each of our bargaining partners," said the Alliance of Motion Pictures and TV Producers, in a statement.

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