Contact: Gabriel Scott (323) 782-4603
 
News Release: March 24, 2004
WGAw Board Schedules New Presidential Vote for September After Labor Department Finds Riskin Was Ineligible to Run
DOL Takes No Other Action After Extensive Investigation


LOS ANGELES --  In an independent investigation, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has reached the same conclusions as an investigation that was ordered by the Board of Directors of the Writers Guild of America, west following a member complaint regarding the guild's conduct of its 2003 election.

The DOL found that former President Victoria Riskin had been ineligible to run in the 2003 election. After extensive discussions with the DOL, the guild proposed as a remedy to hold an election for the office of president in September 2004 - at the same time as the guild's regularly scheduled board election. The DOL accepted the guild's proposal, and in a special meeting on March 23, 2004, the guild's board of directors voted to accept the DOL findings, enter into a settlement with the DOL, and to schedule the election on Sept. 20, 2004.

The Labor Department's findings by and large agreed with those of an independent review of the 2003 elections conducted by Stanford University School of Law Professor William B. Gould IV. Mr. Gould's report - submitted to the guild in January 2004 - found that then-President Riskin had been ineligible to run. As a result of that finding, Ms. Riskin resigned from the position of president on Jan. 6, 2004.

"We're gratified that the Labor Department has essentially confirmed that our last election was conducted properly and that the guild's response to the election protest was also handled correctly," said Daniel Petrie Jr., President WGAw. "We completely agree that holding a new election for president is the best way to validate the voting rights of all guild members."

Labor Department election supervisors will oversee the balloting process and vote count for the presidential election. The guild had already been scheduled to hold elections this September for vice president and eight of the 16 members of its board of directors. The election for those seats will not be monitored for compliance by the Labor Department.

Letter From President