The Writers Guild of America has authorized their union to strike if contract negotiations fail with television production companies.
Variety reports that 96% of WGA members voted to authorize the strike against production companies with more than two-thirds of eligible members voting. The WGA released the results of the vote ahead of negotiations on a master contract with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers which are scheduled to resume today.
If the talks fail, a work stoppage by writers could begin as early as May 2nd, the day after the current three-year master contract expires.
The last time writers went on strike was in November of 2007 and it was not a happy time for the industry. The 100 day strike cost Hollywood more than $1.5 billion, and resulted in the cancellation or delay of many popular movies and TV shows.
The guild is asking for raises in minimums and script fees to offset what they say are changes in the nature of TV production that affect a writer's earnings. The WGA wants parity on payment structures for those working on shows for cable and streaming video on demand outlets.