A federal judge has rejected WME’s request for a provisional order that would end the agency’s WGA boycott until the antitrust case can go to trial. This is a major legal victory for the guild, and it should put pressure on WME to settle the long-running dispute and sign the WGA’s franchise agreement, just like all the other big talent agencies.
In his ruling on Wednesday, U.S. District Court Judge André Birotte jr. Said he rejected WME’s request because ‘the court does not have jurisdiction to institute an order because this case involves a labor dispute as defined in the Norris-LaGuardia Act.’ Under the Norris-LaGuardia Act, ‘no court is competent to issue any order in a case involving or arising out of a labor dispute, except in strict compliance’ with the requirements of the Act.
“In short, the judge ruled,” the court has no right to issue an order because the NLGA is withholding it. Since provisional legal aid is excluded, the court need not deepen the merits of (WME) FCC or any of the other strict requirements for issuing a provisional order. ”
Read the verdict here.
During a hearing on the matter on December 18, the judge asked the guild and the agency to settle the 20-month dispute by saying, ‘Come on people. Come together. Get it done. ”
WME then gave the guild a new proposal which the guild rejected yesterday. Earlier today, WME said it still wanted to reach an agreement with the guild.