ABC Daytime and Corday Productions Get More Than Flack from the Writers Guild East

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WGA East files arbitration cases over replacement writers


Writers Strike PosterIn a post writer's stike bruhaha for the soap opera industry, both ABC Daytime and Corday Productions (producers of Days of our Lives) are in hot water with the Writers Guild East for not firing the strike replacement writers and re-instating the striking writing staff who is now available to work after the strike.  In fact, in early April the WGAE went so far as to file separate arbitration cases against ABC and Corday Productions for allegedly violating the guild’s strike termination agreement.

According to Andrew Krukowski of TVWeek , the WGAE alleges that Corday Productions, which produces “Days of Our Lives” and ABC, which produces “All My Children,” hired replacement writers during the 100-day WGA strike and had not terminated these employees as of early April. Instead, the WGAE is alleging that the replacement writers are preventing striking guild writers from returning to their positions.

“The strike termination agreement does not allow the retention of replacement writers in lieu of allowing striking writers to return to their jobs. ABC and Corday Productions are clearly violating this agreement,” said Ira Cure, senior counsel for the Writers Guild of America, East. “They have left us no other option but to file arbitrations to ensure our members will be afforded their rights outlined under this agreement.”

The Writers Guild of America went on strike last November 5th.  The major issues included residual payments for online distribution of content. A lack of writers forced numerous shows out of production and cost the Los Angeles economy an estimated $2.1 billion.

The soaps, on the other hand, did not go dark. They kept their actors and crews working thanks to the efforts of the replacement writers or those WGA members who went Fi-Core.  Even though the strike was resolved in mid-February, the film and television industry is still not up to pre-strike production levels in Los Angeles.  Many crew members, actors, producers, PA's, directors, assistant directors and writers are still out of work. TV shows were cancelled or postponed, networks re-evaluated how many pilots they will greenlight going foward, writers with lucrative development deals were fired.  This writers strike will go down in history as being the one that changed the face of the television industry forever.

Representatives of Corday were not available for comment.  NBC, which airs “Days of Our Lives,” had no comment.  "We are in full compliance with our contract and the allegation is untrue," was ABC's response to press.

Krukowski wrapped up his piece by stating that "a network source familiar with the situation said the WGAE was grandstanding because it subverted direct discussion in favor of announcing arbitration straight to the press."