The three-month strike which crippled Hollywood has ended after writers voted in favour of returning to work.

Some 92.5 per cent of 3,775 members of the Writers' Guild of America (WGA) who chose to cast a ballot voted in favour of a deal struck between union leaders and studio representatives at the weekend.

"The strike is over. Our members have voted. Writers can go back to work," said WGA spokesman Patric Verrone, after ballots were held in New York and Los Angeles.

WGA members had been on strike since November 5th last year after negotiations stalled with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) regarding royalty payments.

Some 10,500 writers downed tools in protest at the studios' remuneration policies when writers' work was redistributed on the internet, DVD or mobile phones.

A deal agreed at the weekend will see writers given a greater share of profits when their work is streamed online or made available as mobile content, while a percentage of the distributor's gross will see their incomes significantly boosted.

A statement issued on behalf of CBS' Leslie Moonyes, Sony Pictures Entertainment's Michael Lynton, MGM's Harry Sloan, NBC Universal's Jeff Zucker, Paramount Pictures' Brad Grey, News Corp's Peter Chernin, Warner Bros' Barry Meyer and Walt Disney Co's Robert Iger said the end of the strike signalled "a day of relief and optimism for everyone in the entertainment industry".

"The strike has been extraordinarily difficult for all of us, but the hardest hit of all have been the many thousands of businesses, workers and families that are economically dependent on our industry," it added.

"We hope now to focus our collective efforts on what this industry does best - writers, directors, actors, production crews, and entertainment companies working together to deliver great content to our worldwide audiences."

The three-month strike led to the postponement of scores of films and TV shows as well as the cancellation of the Golden Globe awards.


13/02/2008 09:23:55