Writers Guild Of Canada Calls For Strike-Authorization Vote Against Canadian Media Producers

The Writers Guild of Canada has called for a strike-authorization vote amid ongoing negotiations on its Independent Production Agreement with the Canadian Media Producers Association.

Voting is open through April 23, giving the WGC the opportunity to call a strike as early as next week if approved by members.

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The current contract expired December 31 but has remained in effect as the two parties continued to bargain. Bargaining on a new contract began in October.

In a memo to members last month, the WGC wrote that it had last presented an updated proposal to the CMPA on February 26 and were awaiting a response.

“The main issues that remain outstanding include AI protection and compensation,” the memo reads.

Last year, during Hollywood’s dual strikes, the Writers Guild of Canada — which represents 2,500 professional English-language Canadian screenwriters — called attention to the struggles of its own screenwriters in a submission to the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission. At the time, the guild revealed that during the past five years, the aggregate earnings of its Canadian citizen members have declined by nearly 22% when adjusted for inflation.

“These numbers demonstrate the dire straits that Canadian screenwriters find themselves in,” said WGC president Alex Levine. “The 22% drop in Canadian screenwriter earnings has been devastating to our members. Out of work writers are switching careers. Others are leaving the country. Our domestic industry is dying.”

The decline demonstrated by the WGC mirrored that which the Writers Guild of America had said its own members suffered in the past decade. The WGA was 71 days into its own strike against the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers at the time of the WGC’s report.

The WGC offered its support to WGA members during the historic 148-day strike, asking its own members not to accept any work that fell under WGA jurisdiction.

“As a fellow guild and member of the International Affiliation of Writers Guilds, the Writers Guild of Canada will support the WGA during its strike to the fullest extent possible. The compensation issues raised by WGA writers are the same concerns affecting writers around the world,” a statement from the WGC last May said.

Protections against AI and compensation, particularly for streaming, became cornerstones of the WGA’s (and later SAG-AFTRA’s) talks with the AMPTP last year. Both guilds would eventually achieve significant gains in both areas. The DGA also revised its contract in January to include similar provisions related to streaming bonuses. Initially ratified in June, that contract also included AI protections.

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