OPCMIA Statement on Strike by the Writers Guild of America

The Operative Plasterers’ & Cement Masons’ International Association of the United States and Canada, AFL-CIO (OPCMIA) – along with its Plasterers, Sculptors, and Shop Hands Local 755 – represent employees who work for employers represented by the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP). Our members understand the vital role played by writers represented the Writers Guild of America (WGA). These writers create the content that our sculptors, model makers and shop hands bring to life for the big screen, as well as smaller screens like televisions, computers, and tablets.

WGA writers have struggled in recent years to make a living as our employers have shifted from traditional television formats to online streaming formats. The WGA released a recent report in which it found that the median weekly pay for represented writer-producers has declined by 4% over the past 10 years. When that number is adjusted for inflation, the decline is actually 23% over that period of time.

In recent weeks, the WGA has been negotiating a new collective bargaining agreement with the AMPTP, but the parties have not been able to reach an agreement. On April 17, 2023, the WGA announced that 97.85% of its members voted to authorize a strike. The WGA has since declared that, effective May 2, 2023, its members are on strike.

Plasterers, Sculptors and Shop Hands Local 755 has a collective bargaining agreement with the AMPTP. Article 24 of that agreement provides, in relevant part, as follows:

The Producer will not discipline any employee covered by this Agreement because of his refusal as an individual to cross a picket line, providing that such picket line has been sanctioned by the Operative Plasterers’ & Cement Masons’ International Association of the United States and Canada.

The OPCMIA understands that workers have invaluable skills and talent, which they use to create valuable content with their hands and minds for the entertainment industry. We further recognize the importance of ensuring that every worker can support themselves and their families through better pay and working conditions. Therefore, the OPCMIA sanctions the picket lines set up by the WGA and its members in furtherance of their strike.

However, the sanctioning of picket lines is not a directive, instruction, or order by either the OPCMIA or Local 755 for their members to honor the picket lines. The decision of whether to honor a picket line still is an individual one to be exercised by each Local 755 member.

Any questions with respect to this matter should be directed to OPCMIA Vice President Joel Santos at jsantos@opcmia.org or Vice President Fitzgerald Jacobs at fjacobs@opcmia.org and/or Local 755 Business Manager Chuck Cortez at Local755Hollywood@gmail.com.