Today, U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand joined WGA workers outside the Times Square Paramount Building to rally for fair contract negotiations to provide writers with better pay and better working conditions. Gillibrand called on studios and executives to come to the table and negotiate in good faith. Gillibrand was joined by state Senator Liz Krueger, Assemblymember Tony Simone, NYC Council Member Erik Bottcher, WGA East President Michael Winship, writer Paula Pell, actor and writer Danny Strong, filmmaker Craig Zobel, and a number of other important contributors to the entertainment industry.
The speakers addressed more than 200 striking workers and joined them on the picket line.
“Writers are not only essential to New York’s economy, supporting thousands of jobs through their creativity and talent, but they are part of the heart and soul of our great state. They deserve to be valued and to be paid fairly for their hard work,” said Senator Gillibrand. “We are sending a message to the studios and executives: come to the table and negotiate with WGA in good faith. By creating an industry that is fair for everyone we will create more jobs, more opportunity, more innovation and more creativity for employers and writers alike. Let’s get a deal!”
“I am proud to stand with the Writers Guild of America demanding a reasonable contract,” Senator Krueger. “Working people are the engine of our economy, and writers are essential cultural workers – their work uplifts us, makes us laugh and cry, and serves as touchstones through good times and bad. They deserve a fair deal for their labor.”
“This strike shows just how vital storytelling is to the American psyche,” said Assemblymember Tony Simone. “The writers who are represented by WGA create art that we rely on to feel human, and to connect with one another. Writers generate the studios and corporations billions of dollars a year in revenue by creating the television and film that is the foundation of a distinctly American industry. These writers bring value to our economy and culture, and they deserve a fair contract that reflects their contributions to our society.”
“I stand in solidarity with the writers and support their decision to strike for fair wages and working conditions. The creative mind and intellectual property of writers are the backbone of the entertainment industry, and their ability to earn a living wage for their craft is essential for the industry’s success and sustainability. It is time for the studios to come to the bargaining table and negotiate a fair deal that recognizes the valuable contributions of writers and ensures their rights on the job. We stand with the writers in their fight for equity, justice, and fairness and urge the industry to address their legitimate concerns and arrive at a fair and productive resolution.” – NYC Council Member Erik Bottcher
“The Writers Guild East is delighted and honored to have the backing of Senator Gillibrand. Her presence at today’s picket line in Manhattan was symbolic of the political clout that’s behind us as 11,500 writers strike and march on both the East and West coasts for a fair wage and a sustainable future. We thank the senator for her support.” -Michael Winship, President of the Writers Guild of America, East
A champion for American workers, Senator Gillibrand is an original cosponsor of the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act, bicameral legislation that would strengthen workers’ rights to organize and bargain for fairer wages, better benefits, and a safer workplace.