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March 21, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Negotiations between the Writers Guild of America and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers turned out to be a far cry from the acrimony and tumult that marked the talks in 2007, which led to a strike that shut down TV production for 100 days. According to published reports, the negotiators sidestepped the issue of payment for new media usage and focused instead on so-called bread-and-butter issues, including a 2-percent increase in the minimum-wage rate and a 1.5-percent increase in the producers’ contributions to the union’s pension plan. The WGA also agreed to freeze payments for primetime network residuals and restrictions of first-class air travel. On her Deadline.com blog, Nikki Finke, who led the cheering for the WGA strikers three years ago, called the deal a “disaster” and a “joke.” “Several veteran writers are calling this the worst deal they’ve ever been handed,” Finke wrote.