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Here’s Where The Writers’ Strike Is Showing Up in the Bay Area

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The Writer’s Guild is leafletting outside Apple’s HQ and stores on June 5.

On Monday, June 5 the Writers Guild of America (WGA) is coming to the Bay Area. From 1 to 3 p.m. guild members will leaflet outside Apple headquarters at the Apple Park Visitor Center, 10600 North Tantau Avenue in Cupertino. The demonstration will take place while the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference conducts its opening ceremonies inside; the film and TV writers on strike are looking for fairer pay from streaming services especially, including Apple TV+. The union’s strike has seen ongoing picket lines in Los Angeles and New York, but until now no union-led activities have sprung up in NorCal. If you like movies, television, or just dig workers’ rights, support the action by attending or circulating the call to action. “Our position is clear,” the guild wrote in a statement. “To resolve the strike, the companies will have to negotiate with the WGA on our full agenda.”

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Dubbed the “Apple Day of Action,” workers in the union are hoping the trillion-dollar Silicon Valley-based company can part with a portion of its nearly $400 billion reported revenue from last year. The guild is asking for pay guarantees and increases that would cost Apple $17 million. That’s less than 1 percent of one year’s revenue. And while Severance, Ted Lasso, and Prehistoric Planet are all terrific — with Prehistoric Planet 2 looking to be a certifiable banger, too — it’s only right the writers behind those shows are fairly paid for their contributions. Without these agreements, shows including Severance and Sinking Spring will be delayed. If making it down to Cupertino isn’t an option, there are downloadable leaflets and images to use for social media or to distribute outside your nearest Apple store.

The last major Writer’s Strike took place from 2007 to 2008, and this one began after six weeks of negotiating between the guild and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP). In short, streaming wasn’t the mega-generator of revenue that it is now for corporations: Netflix makes a ton of money from Stranger Things’ success, but writers don’t get any residual value from that boom in subscribers or merchandise. Plenty of famous rich people support the renewed contract, which expired on May 2, including Ava DuVernay, the Daniels behind Everything Everywhere All at Once, and Jay Leno brought doughnuts to the picket line. Things are heating up as the Director’s Guild looks to negotiate with the AMPTP, just like it did in the late aughts. The difference is this time around the WGA says it won’t be enough to pattern bargain with another union to meet some of the guild’s demands.

Paolo Bicchieri is a member of the Vox Media Union which is an affiliate of the Writer’s Guild of America, East.

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Paolo Bicchieri

Paolo Bicchieri

Paolo Bicchieri (he/they) is a writer living on the coast. He's a reporter for Eater SF and the author of three books of fiction and one book of poetry.