TV and film writers may return to work as soon as tomorrow now that an agreement has been reached concerning broadcast residuals for new media

Almost fifteen weeks ago, the Writers Guild of America (WGA) launched the second worker's strike in its 56 year history. The union declared the 0.33 cent-per-dollar residuals on permanent Internet downloads "unacceptable," countering with demands that writers must be paid royalties on all internet airs of written works.

According to the Hollywood Reporter the strike that started on November 5, 2007, hacked $2 billion from the local economy and the brunt of that loss of revenue in the economy was shouldered by small business owners like florists and caterers; only $733 million of the $2 billion lost was in production spending.

The Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) countered by stating the WGA members that went on strike were far from hurting for money. The website prominently displays the fact that the 4,434 members of the WGA in film and TV earned a total of $905.8 million in 2006. The site also says that the average WGA member earned $204,295 in the same year and that over half the 4,434 members earned at least $104,750. The average Angeleno earned only $46,000 by comparison.

letter from the president of the WGA posted yesterday calls for a vote to end the strike and says that a vote will take place today. WGA members voting yes will be voting to immediately end the strike. Ballots will be cast at the Guild Theater from 2pm to 6pm today. That would mean writers could be back to work as early as tomorrow. The letter also called for no picketing yesterday or today until the vote was made.

The WGA website provides no insight into the terms of the proposed contract. However, the Agence France Presse states the new contract would pay writers a fixed fee of $1,200 per year for one-hour episodes streamed over the Internet for the first two years. On the third year the writers would get 2% of the revenue generated from the episode stream.

"If you can find a PS3 anywhere in North America that's been on shelves for more than five minutes, I'll give you 1,200 bucks for it." -- SCEA President Jack Tretton

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