A federal judge has denied WME’s request for a preliminary injunction that would have ended the WGA’s boycott of the agency until the antitrust case can go to trial. It’s a major legal victory for the guild, and should add pressure on WME to settle the long-running dispute and sign the WGA’s franchise agreement, as have all the other major talent agencies.
In his ruling Wednesday, U.S. District Court Judge André Birotte Jr. said that he denied WME’s request because “The Court lacks jurisdiction to enter an injunction because this matter involves a labor dispute as defined by the Norris-LaGuardia Act.” According to the Norris-LaGuardia Act, “No court shall have jurisdiction to issue any injunction in a case involving or growing out of a labor dispute except in a strict conformity” with the act’s requirements.
“In short,” the judge ruled, “the Court lacks jurisdiction to issue an injunction because the NLGA precludes it from doing so. Because injunctive relief is precluded, the Court need not delve into the merits of (WME’s) FCC or any of the other strict requirements for the issuance of a preliminary injunction.”
Read the ruling here.
During a hearing on the matter on December 18, the judge urged the guild and the agency to settle the 20-month dispute, saying: “Come on folks. Get together. Get this done.”
WME then gave the guild a new proposal, which the guild rejected yesterday. Earlier today, WME said that it still wants to reach an agreement with the guild.