Wednesday, June 17, 2009

WGA Institutes Qualified Voting

The WGA membership has approved new rules limiting members’ eligibility to vote on strike authorization and ratification of the feature-primetime contract: members now have to have earnings of $30,000 under a WGA agreement during the six years preceding the vote or 15 or more qualified years as a pension plan participant, Variety reports.

The change passed by a margin of 96% to 4%, with turnout a low 15%. This level of support, and lack of angst as signaled by the low turnout, contrast with the reaction within SAG when a “qualified voting” or “affected voting” system having income requirements was proposed in that union. Of course, a higher percentage of SAG actors would have been disqualified since more than 2/3’s of SAG members earn little or money from the TV/theatrical contracts in any given year, even when residuals are included in the calculation.

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