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April 27, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Two years after their rancorous strike — primarily over Internet residuals — virtually shut down the movie and TV industry for 100 days, the membership of the Writers Guild of America overwhelmingly voted in favor of a new contract in which the issue of Internet residuals was all but ignored. The WGA said that 90.7 percent of the 1,952 members who cast valid votes in Los Angeles and New York voted to ratify the three-year agreement that union negotiators reached with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) on March 20. The agreement calls for increases in employer pension contributions, pay-TV residuals, and minimums. The WGA accepted a freeze on network primetime residual rates and the elimination of first-class travel. In a statement, WGA West President John Wells and WGA East President Michael Winship said, “Valuable advances have been made in our pension plan and in other areas important to writers. Nonetheless, we also recognize that much remains to be done. To that end, we have positioned ourselves for some hard and important work in the years ahead as we endeavor to further the needs and rights of our members.” For its part, the AMPTP called the agreement “an important milestone for the industry.” It noted that the WGA agreement marks the conclusion of negotiations with all the major film and TV industry labor groups. “Taken together, these agreements will give the industry an opportunity for a sustained period of labor peace,” the AMPTP said.