UK unionists demonstrate in support of striking Hollywood screenwriters as part of international day of solidarity

UK trade unionists demonstrated their support for Hollywood’s striking screenwriters today as part of an international day of solidarity called by the Writers’ Guild of America (WGA).

Members of the WGA began their industrial action on 5 November in a bid to get more money from DVD and internet sales.

TUC general secretary Brendan Barber and deputy general secretary Frances O’Grady joined members of the Writers’ Guild of Great Britain (WGGB) in a demonstration on the steps of Congress House at noon today.

Demonstrations with placards, as seen on picket lines in Hollywood, will be taking place in London, Australia, Ireland, New Zealand, France and Canada. The international solidarity day has been called as talks aimed at settling the dispute in the US enter a crucial phase.

Barber said: “Writers and actors across the world will be showing their support for their fellow writers in the US who are fighting for a better deal. Many writers struggle to make a living, yet the film studios and TV networks stand to make billions of dollars when writers’ successful scripts are published on DVD or are downloaded from the internet. All the writers are asking for is a fairer share of the huge profits to be made.”

Several high-profile US films and TV shows have been postponed as a result of the strikes. Last week, it was reported that the dispute could cost the UK’s Pinewood Studios up to £3m.

Meanwhile, Hollywood screenwriters have re-entered talks with studios to try to resolve the dispute.

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