WASHINGTON — Writers and artists across the country have agreed to strike to protest proposed changes to their contracts that would prevent them from working until 2020.
The Writers Guild of America has sent a letter to members of Congress urging them to reject a plan to impose a lockout by 2021.
It also said it would call on Congress to stop funding the government’s National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowments for the Humanities and the National Science Foundation.
In a statement, the Writers Guild said it is disappointed by the proposal and is considering a strike.
“We will continue to engage in direct action and protests until Congress repeals the proposals,” the guild said.
“The proposals in question do not reflect the true spirit of this nation, its creative heritage and its democracy.
They are a blatant attack on the work of these writers, their writers, and their audiences and threaten the very fabric of our democracy.”
It said that the proposed changes could lead to layoffs of thousands of writers, while millions more would lose their jobs.
The WGA is not the only union to protest this week.
In California, the California State Senate has passed a bill that would effectively outlaw collective bargaining.
It’s a major step in the union’s push to reform the contract that governs the writing, directing the federal government to negotiate for the authors to take pay cuts to the level of full-time employees.
The writers strike is the latest action against the government shutdown, with more than 4 million Americans without a job and over 4 million who have not received paychecks.
The shutdown has prompted widespread calls for Congress to step in and impose a debt limit increase.