Unions rally in support of striking Hollywood writers

STORY: A few hundred members of unions in the tourism and hospitality industries, teachers, logistics workers and public employees rallied. The participating unions represented more than 200,000 workers with collective bargaining agreements also due to expire in 2023, organizers said.

Unions also representing teachers, truck drivers and other workers who will be headed soon to the bargaining table turned out in downtown Los Angeles in support.

The Writers of Guild of America (WGA) began a work stoppage on May 2 after failing to reach an agreement for higher wages with Hollywood studios including Walt Disney Co, Netflix Inc and Warner Bros Discovery Inc.

“It's such a watershed moment and a very important time for labor. I mean, obviously for us as writers, it's very important for us to be able to like, pay our bills to get what we do. You know, these corporations, the CEOs change with the seasons. And, you know, for us, it's like we're we put in the work and the time and the effort into making shows and films really great. It's it's about time that they pay up. You know, it's about fairness." said writer Sydney Baloue.

The outpouring show of support and solidarity was a strong talking point among those in the rally crowd.

Organizers said all of the unions had universal demands for livable wages amid rising food, housing and transportation costs.

Writer Danielle Roderick said she hoped the writers would lead a movement of "everybody not taking it."

“Everybody's feeling [it] right now. Everybody's feeling like they're getting eaten alive in a certain way. Our guild is really well organized, really well resourced, and is right in this moment of A.I. and all this other stuff. It just feels like we're the first collective of artists that can come together and really push back against AI, taking over everything without anybody doing anything.” said Roderick, who attended the rally with her husband, also a writer, and two children.

The Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP), which represents major studios, has said it offered "generous" increases in compensation to writers. No new talks between the two sides are scheduled.