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Covering the Writers Strike

May 14, 1988

It's looking like a long, hot summer and Michael Cieply's coverage of the writers strike isn't going to help cool things down ("Labor Strife Reads Like a Stale Script," Part I, May 10).

We find it unfortunate that he didn't balance the negative comments of a few unnamed writers with the fact that thousands of current members are sacrificing time and savings to preserve the dignity that past generations of guild activists have won for us.

Cieply pandered to the public misconception that the Writers Guild of America is an exclusive club of "high earners" who cut deals from car phones and cry uncle the moment they can't make the payments on their million-dollar homes.

If the reporter had seen fit to quote some of the 60% of WGA members who make less than $20,000 a year, he might have painted a different picture.

Since the 1930s the WGA has fought for a minimum basic agreement that ensures each member of a running start at the beginning of his or her career.

Of course, there are writers whose talents catapult them well beyond the minimum basic agreement, but that doesn't release them from their responsibility to help preserve its integrity. It is precisely because these writers have achieved a level of success that they owe the guild their support.

ROBERT RAMSEY

MATTHEW STONE

Current WGA Members

Los Angeles

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