Soaps have WGAE in a lather


The WGA East on Tuesday filed arbitration complaints involving replacement workers on two daytime dramas.

The WGAE said ABC and Corday Prods. violated terms of a Feb. 11 strike-termination agreement with the guild by retaining replacement workers in writing slots on "All My Children" and "Days of Our Lives," respectively, and barring at least nine WGAE scribes from returning to those jobs after the end of the 100-day WGA strike.

"The strike-termination agreement does not allow the retention of replacement writers in lieu of allowing striking writers to return to their jobs," WGAE senior counsel Ira Cure said. "ABC and Corday Prods. are clearly violating this agreement, (and) they have left us no other option but to file arbritrations to ensure our members will be afforded their rights outlined under this agreement."

WGAE spokeswoman Sherry Goldman said it's possible that additional guild scribes might be added to the arbitrations. There are a total of 20 positions on the two shows covered by the WGAE contract, and it's unclear whether additional writers will be barred from returning to their slots on the show, Goldman said.

"We're trying to find out if they will be allowed to go back to work," she said.

The WGAE filed its arbitration requests directly with the companies, which have 10 days to respond. The companies and the guild also must select a mutually acceptable arbitrator to hear the cases.

"The allegation is untrue, and we are in full compliance with our contract," an ABC spokeswoman said.

NBC, which airs the Corday-produced "Days," is not a party to the arbitration dispute. "Days" is shot in Los Angeles; "Children" lenses in New York.

The WGAE and WGA West ended their strike against the networks and studios on Feb. 12, with most writers heading back to TV and film jobs soon afterward.

Paul Gough in New York contributed to this report.