The Writers’ Guild of Great Britain (WGGB) has sent out guidance to its members over the strike and reminded them not to work on U.S. shows for its duration.
The Guild has in the past few minutes issued guidance to members and a statement to the press outlining the situation with UK writers and expressing solidarity with the WGA. WGGB members have already been told that they will be removed from the Guild if they take on work within a WGA jurisdiction during the strike.
In the guidance, the WGGB drew writers’ attention to the fact that the WGA “can and will bar a writer from future Guild membership” if they choose to break rank and work for the U.S. players during the strike, which was called this morning.
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“This policy has been strictly enforced in the past and has resulted in convincing many would be strikebreakers to refrain from harming the Guild and its members during a strike,” said the WGGB.
The WGGB pointed out that WGA members are being encouraged to report to their Guild “the name of any non-member whom you believe has performed writing services for a struck company and as much information as possible about the non-member’s services.”
UK WGGB writers who accept work on WGA projects and break the WGGB directive will essentially be viewed as ‘crossing a picket line’ and will be blacklisted. Several have indicated to Deadline over the weeks that they would refuse.
Members of both the WGA and WGGB can continue working if their project is under WGGB jurisdiction, according to today’s guidance.
The likelihood of the WGGB members going on strike in the UK is also incredibly low due to differing trade union legislation in the UK.
Secondary strike action is not permitted under UK law but UK writers were encouraged to help in other ways such as taking part in protests or demonstrations that do not fall under the definition of ‘picketing’.
“We continue to show our solidarity with our sister union and their members in the U.S. as they embark on industrial action to secure fair pay, decent working conditions and to gain their rightful share in the future financial successes of their work,” said WGGB Chair Lisa Holdsworth.
“We know that strike action is a last resort and one that requires individual sacrifice. The resounding majority of WGA members who voted for this action have shown the collective strength of their feeling and their resolve to stand firm on issues that affect writers the world over.”
David Allison, a writer on Marcella and Trust Me, backed the “incredibly impressive” WGGB statement.
“Absolutely no messing, total solidarity,” he added. You steal work from U.S. writers on the sly and you’re blacklisted.”
Novelist Tony Lee, who writes under the name Jack Gatland, said: “I might be in the UK but as a member of The Writers Guild I stand in solidarity with the WGA.”
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