The WGA deal reached last month is on its way to the membership for a ratification vote - ballots are in the mail. Details: The Hollywood Reporter.
The WGA ballot ratification materials, which include letters from the leadership and the negotiating committee, try to put the best face on things, but they also acknowledge the reality that the WGA fought a rear-guard action. After refusing for months to set a negotiation date -- on the theory that late negotiations bring more leverage -- in the end, the WGA and studios negotiated for just three weeks, and the guild emerged with little that the actors and directors unions hadn't gotten months earlier.
Another piece of the ratification materials is a letter from a WGA member who reluctantly supports the deal. He calls for inter-union unity in the future, but that goal seems idealistic. The two performers unions, SAG and AFTRA, may indeed merge -- they're working on that now -- but it would require a surprising and seismic rearrangement to achieve cooperation between the writers, directors and performers unions. Will it happen next time around? Maybe, but don't bet on it.
Check out my new book "Hollywood on Strike!," available on Amazon (also in a Kindle edition). Subscribe to my blog (jhandel.com) for more about entertainment law and digital media law. Check out my residuals chart there too. Go to the blog itself to subscribe via RSS or email. Or, follow me on Twitter, friend me on Facebook, or subscribe to my Forbes.com or Huffington Post articles. If you work in tech, take a look at my book How to Write LOIs and Term Sheets.
Follow Jonathan Handel on Twitter: www.twitter.com/jhandel