Winship: Strike could end Monday


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WGA East leaders encouraged
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STRIKE ZONE: Latest news and updates

UPDATED 11:40 a.m. PT, Feb. 9, 2008

NEW YORK -- WGA East president Michael Winship said at an impromptu news conference Saturday afternoon in New York that the strike could come to an end as early as Monday, but "not necessarily."

"I believe it's a good deal," he told reporters outside the Crowne Plaza Hotel. "I will be recommending it to our membership."

WGAE officials said if the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers sign the deal, the writers guild negotiating committee will decide whether to recommend the deal to the WGA West board and WGAE council. Those two bodies could sign off on the agreement Sunday and start the ratification process by the guild membership, Winship said.

Ratifying the contract itself could take up to a month. But the board and council could decide to end the strike on their own, perhaps as quickly as when they meet on Sunday.

If the board and council opt to let members decide whether to end the strike, WGA officials said there are different ways of doing that via mail or membership meetings. Depending on what process is chosen, that vote could take anywhere from two to ten days.

It's not a done deal, Winship said, "but it's pretty much done."

A WGA East spokeswoman couldn't immediately say mid-day Saturday what the current state of affairs means for the Academy Awards and writers' participation in it.

Carl DiOrio in Los Angeles contributed to this report.