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WGAW: Comcast Aims “To Destroy Unions”

WGAW Board Members Chip Johannessen and Patric Verrone have issued a strongly worded message of support the Comcast writers wanting WGA representation:

To Our Fellow Members,

“If the Writers Guild didn’t exist, we’d have to invent it.” — Legendary Hollywood executive Sid Sheinberg said that back in 1988 when he was president of Universal Studios. Mr. Sheinberg didn’t say it out of some great love of the Guild. The fact is we were on strike at the time and, if there had been some way to do without us, any self-respecting studio head would have jumped at the chance. But Mr. Sheinberg understood the role that our Guild, and all the other guilds and unions, play in this industry. A role that Universal’s latest owner, Comcast, seems not to understand.

Hollywood runs on a talented pool of what is essentially freelance labor. The guilds, every bit as much as the companies, make this talent pool possible by ensuring two things: First, that when you work, you’ll be fairly compensated. And second, that your pension and health benefits follow you from job to job. Projects and shows come and go, but fair compensation and portable benefits ensure that talented people remain. This guild-based ecosystem works to everyone’s advantage, including the companies. It makes our industry possible. Because talented people won’t follow their dreams here if, after 20 years of working, they’ve got nothing to show for it. And without the talent pool,

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Writers Guild, West, 2010 Election Results

LOS ANGELES – The Writers Guild of America, West (WGAW) has announced the results of its 2010 WGAW Board of Directors election. The following eight members were elected to the WGAW’s Board of Directors: Robin Schiff (754 votes), Katherine Fugate (749 votes), Aaron Mendelsohn (741 votes), David A. Goodman (740 votes), Kathy Kiernan (691 votes), Christopher Keyser (610 votes), David Shore (554 votes), Mark Gunn (519 votes).

Fugate, Goodman, Gunn, Kiernan, and Mendelsohn are incumbents. Board members will serve a two-year term, effective immediately.

Results for the nine remaining Board of Directors candidates were: Matthew Weiner (507 votes), Karen Harris (463 votes), Timothy J. Lea (376 votes), Cheryl Heuton (290 votes), Naomi Foner (273 votes), Mick Betancourt (257 votes), Erica Montolfo (143 votes), Erich Hoeber (132 votes), Matt Pyken (111 votes). (Note: Steve Skrovan withdrew his candidacy after the final slate of WGAW BOD candidates was previously announced in July.)

A total of 1,273 valid ballots were cast. The ballot count was supervised by Robbin Johnson of Pacific Election Services, Inc., an independent firm.

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WGAW’s Final Slate Of Board Candidates

By | Friday July 23, 2010 @ 12:54pm PDT

LOS ANGELES – The Writers Guild of America, West has announced the final slate of candidates for the 2010 WGAW Board of Directors election.

There are 18 candidates nominated to run for eight open seats on the WGAW’s Board of Directors, as follows: Robin Schiff, David Shore, David A. Goodman (inc.), Cheryl Heuton, Aaron Mendelsohn (inc.), Katherine Fugate (inc.), Timothy J. Lea, Mick Betancourt, Mark Gunn (inc.), Erich Hoeber, Erica Montolfo, Matt Pyken, Naomi Foner, Karen Harris (inc.), Kathy Kiernan (inc.), Christopher Keyser, Steve Skrovan, Matthew Weiner.

Note to editors: WGAW internal rules require candidates to be announced in an order determined by lot; (inc.) denotes an incumbent candidate.

The WGAW will host its annual “Candidates Night” town-hall forum, at which Guild members may meet the candidates and get answers to their questions, on Tuesday, September 7, at WGAW headquarters in Los Angeles.

Guild members will receive candidate, non-candidate and rebuttal statements, if any, with their ballots prior to the election. Candidates may also mail additional campaign materials at their own expense. Members may vote by mail or in person at the WGAW’s annual membership meeting on Thursday, September 16. Ballots will be counted on Friday, September 17.

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