American writers need you!
At the beginning of April NZWG stepped up in support of writer’s working in America. The Writers Guilds of America – East and West needed our support in the re-negotiations of the Artists’ Manager Basic Agreement (AMBA).
NZWG are a member of the International Affiliation of Writers Guilds, and as such we strive to uphold international union standards across territories.
The resolution passed as follows (full resolution below):
Be it resolved that:
In the spirit of Article 4B of the Affiliation Agreement whereby, “to the extent practicable, each Guild shall adopt uniform codes of working rules and bring existing codes into uniformity”:
We resolve to inform our members of a lapsed WGA Artists’ Manager Basic Agreement (AMBA), educate them on the underlying issues of the dispute, the adoption of an Agency Code of Conduct, and the list of non-signatory agents;
We further resolve to encourage our dual members to ensure their agents adhere to the Agency Code of Conduct, and recommend all writers reject agency-based studios, the unethical practice of packaging fees, and to request their agents also sign onto the Code of Conduct.
WGA Statement of Purpose: Why Agencies Must Change
Our agents work for us. Every dollar they make must be generated as a percentage of the money we make. That is what it means to be our representatives and our fiduciaries. Agency-based studios and packaging fees make a mockery of that and are in violation of the agencies’ ethical and legal obligations to writers. We have taken too long to demand that these practices end. But the persistence of a corrupt system does not make it right. And putting things right does not blow up the business. We do not owe our agents their wealth; they owe us their loyalty. That is what we pay for. In a complex, changing, yet immensely profitable time in our industry, writers need true allies, not deeply conflicted ones. It is for this idea—simple, old-fashioned and un-revolutionary—that we stand—and for which we come together as a Guild again today.
Further useful links and information can be found here from Writers Guild of America West - https://www.wga.org/members/membership-information/agency-agreement
Impacts on Writers of Agents not adhering to the AMBA can be found here - https://www.wga.org/members/membership-information/agency-agreement/writers-share-their-experiences