bloomberg: The beautiful thing about a contract is everyone knows when it ends. by Kyle Stock
'In this case, the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, which represents some 350 production companies, and the Writers Guild of America, which comprises 12,000 professionals in two chapters, have had three years to prepare for a standoff.
'In these situations, show makers typically rush to complete a pile of scripts before the deadline. Jerry Nickelsburg, an economist at the University of California at Los Angeles, calls this stockpiling “the inventory effect.” This is precisely what happened the last time writers walked off the job, from November 2007 to February 2008.
'The writers, meanwhile, do some stockpiling of their own, socking away a little extra money to carry them through a potential dry spell. On Tuesday the union moved to establish a strike fund to assist members in a prolonged walkout.
'If the writers do, in fact, go through with the strike they approved on Monday, jokes and soaps will be the first things to take a hit. Late-night talk shows and soap operas are to entertainment writers what delis are to hungry New Yorkers—a daily frenzy of high-volume production. If the sandwich makers don’t show up, everybody gets hungry quickly.'