1960 Writers Guild of America strike
|This article does not cite any sources. (October 2009)|
The 1960 Writers Guild of America strike was the second longest writers strike in the history of the Writers Guild. It lasted 20 weeks and 6 days, just one week less than the 1988 writers strike. The strike against the producers lasted from January 16, 1960, until June 10, 1960 (agreement reached June 10, but not signed until June 12). The strike against the networks began on March 19. Negotiations were between the Writers Guild of America, west, the Writers Guild of America, East, and the Association of Motion Picture Producers.
For a time, the actors were on strike at the same time, but they had returned to work before the writers reached a compromise with the movie companies.
The conflict was about writer's right to receive a share of revenue of the studios from the lease or sale of movies to television.
Seven of the eight major studios struck a deal: Allied Artists, Columbia, MGM, Paramount, Twentieth-Century Fox, Walt Disney, and Warner Bros. The eighth, Universal International, had reached an agreement before the strike broke out. The settlement included having the studios pay into the writers' pension and health funds in the amount of $600,000. They also agreed to give 5% of the studio's income from movies pre-1960 which were on television. On post-1960 movies, writers got 2% of income. If the film was shown on pay-TV, they would not receive additional income. The minimum rates were also increased to $350 a week and writers would get a 10% raise for the first two years and then 5% for the next year and a half.
For television writers, minimum wages increased 100 percent for the first two years and 100 for the next two. Writers for low-budget half hour shows would get $935 instead of $850. High budget writers would get $1,200 instead of $1,100. Writers would get a 4% royalty domestically and internationally on all reruns "in perpetuity". In the past, writers were paid on only the first five domestic reruns (they got 140% of their minimum pay scale for that). They also agreed to create a health and welfare fund.