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Hollywood Writers End Three-Month Strike

  Entertainment  -   POSTED: 2008/02/13 13:25

Hollywood writers have voted to end a three-month strike that crippled film and television production. As Mike O'Sullivan reports, Hollywood is breathing a sigh of relief after the worst labor dispute in decades.

The writers walked off the job November 5. Tuesday, Patric Verrone, president of the Writers Guild of America West, said they will end the 100-day strike.

"The membership has voted. Writers can go back to work," Verrone said.

Nearly 3800 members of the guild cast their ballots in New York and Los Angeles, with more than 92 percent voting to end the strike. The writers will be back on the job Wednesday. New episodes of television series could be available in four-six weeks.

The dispute centered on payment for movies, television shows and other creative work that is streamed over the Internet. Under a tentative agreement, the writers would get a maximum flat fee of $1,200 per program in the first two years, then two percent of a distributor's gross revenue in the third year. The union's board of directors approved the deal Sunday.

Leslie Moonves, chief executive of the CBS network, told the Associated Press the agreement was a fair one. Union officials say it was not all they wanted, but they can live with the deal.

Although the strike is over, Writers Guild members need to ratify the pact by February 25.

The end to the strike means Hollywood's annual celebration, the Academy Awards, can go ahead as scheduled, February 24. The threat of picketing writers had reduced the Golden Globes last month to a news conference.

The strike stopped production of dozens of television shows and slowed production on movies. One Los Angeles economist says it cost the local economy at least $3 billion.


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