© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Members of the Writers Guild of America (WGA) East picket outside Peacock Newfront streaming service offices, in New York City, U.S., May 2, 2023. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton/File Photo
By Jorge Garcia
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Unions representing teachers, truck drivers and other workers who will be headed soon to the bargaining table turned out in downtown Los Angeles on Friday to support Hollywood’s striking film and television writers.
The Writers Guild of America (WGA) began a work stoppage on May 2 after failing to reach an agreement for higher wages with media companies including Walt Disney (NYSE:) Co, Netflix Inc (NASDAQ:) and Warner Bros Discovery (NASDAQ:) Inc.
On Friday, a few hundred members of unions in the tourism and hospitality industries, teachers, logistics workers and public employees rallied in downtown Los Angeles in a show of unity. The participating unions represented more than 200,000 workers with collective bargaining agreements also due to expire in 2023, organizers said.
“It’s going to be a hot labor summer,” Lorena Gonzalez, executive secretary of the California Labor Federation, told the crowd. “It’s your strength in standing together that’s going to ensure the next generation of workers have the ability to live.”
Organizers said the unions had universal demands for livable wages amid rising food, housing and transportation costs.
Writer Danielle Roderick said she hoped the writers would lead a movement of “everybody not taking it.”
“Everybody feels like they are getting eaten alive in some way,” said Roderick, who attended the rally with her husband, also a writer, and two children.
The Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP), which represents major studios, has said it offered “generous” increases in compensation to writers. No new talks between the two sides are scheduled.