Warner warns 1,000 workers to expect some layoffs

Wed Jan 9, 2008 6:37pm EST
Email This Article |
Share This Article
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
| Print This Article | Single Page
[-] Text [+]

By Sue Zeidler

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Warner Bros, a unit of Time Warner Inc, has told about 1,000 television and film production workers that an unspecified number of layoffs will soon be announced due to Hollywood's screenwriters strike.

"These WARN notices were sent because, in certain circumstances, federal and California law can require employers to give notice of staffing changes," Warner Bros said in a statement on Wednesday.

"Due to the ongoing Writers Guild of America work stoppage, some studio divisions will have to lay off employees. We regret the impact this will have on our employees, and we hope to bring them back to work once the WGA strike ends," it said.

About 10,500 WGA members went on strike against major film and TV studios on November 5 in a contract dispute centered mainly on the issue of compensation for work distributed on the Web.

The strike has halted production on scores of TV shows and derailed several film projects.

FilmL.A. Inc, a nonprofit group that handles production permits for the city, estimates the TV industry stands to lose $21.3 million a day from shutdowns of 65 prime-time broadcast and cable shows that are shot in the Los Angeles area.

Those shows -- 44 one-hour dramas and 21 half-hour sitcoms -- collectively employ well over 10,000 people whose loss of income will ripple through the local economy, the group said.

The dispute is also now casting a dark shadow over this year's Hollywood awards season, with the Golden Globe Awards becoming the most high-profile casualty to date.   Continued...

<p>Members of the Writers Guild of America carry picket signs as they cross an intersection at Warner Bros. Studios in Burbank, California November 5, 2007. REUTERS/Fred Prouser</p>