Home Artificial Intelligence Writers Guild of Canada Overwhelmingly Votes to Authorize Strike Over AI, Fair Pay

Writers Guild of Canada Overwhelmingly Votes to Authorize Strike Over AI, Fair Pay

Canadian writers appear ready to strike as they hold contract talks with the country’s indie film and television producers.

The Writers Guild of Canada revealed 96.5 percent of eligible members voted to authorize a strike if a new deal with the Canadian Media Producers Association cannot be reached. “This strike authorization vote, a first in the guild’s 33-year history, represents a pivotal moment for Canadian screenwriters,” WGC executive director Victoria Shen said in a statement on Thursday.

The results of the WGC membership vote do not ensure a work stoppage will occur, but offers the Canadian union the opportunity to strike if ongoing negotiations with local film and TV producers over a new Independent Production Agreement do not reach a settlement.

Key stumbling blocks in the Canadian labor talks are securing fair compensation for writers, protections against evolving artificial intelligence technologies on live action and animation projects, and minimum writers room staffing on domestic TV series. “While a strong strike mandate does not necessarily mean we will strike, it tells the producers we are ready to defend ourselves if necessary. We remain committed to negotiating a fair agreement for our members,” Shen added.

Issues in the WGC crosshairs in talks with local producers like AI protections, compensation for writers and minimum TV writing staff sizes also figured in negotiations last year involving the Writers Guild of America and the AMPTP, which led to a prolonged Hollywood writers strike before a new contract could be agreed on.

The Canadian strike authorization vote follows six months of negotiations on a new IPA deal between the WGC and indie producers. Sean Porter, the CMPA’s vp of national industrial relations and counsel, in a statement said his organization remained determined to reach a settlement with the WGC.

“We believe a labour dispute would be extremely damaging to the domestic Canadian film and television production sector and we remain focused on successfully concluding negotiations,” Porter said.

The previous IPA contract expired on Dec. 31, 2023. No dates have yet been confirmed for resumed talks between the WGC and CMPA negotiators.



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