Quoted from tightropegirl (A writer on House):
Now, I began this post by being realistic and saying that the fact the other side has chosen to show up at the table is not enough. The truth is, I worry that it could even boomerang against us if it's in the nature of a PR stunt; you know, "Here we are at the table, see what nice guys we are?" "But you're not actually offering anything." "But we're at the table -- that's taken the heat off us."
Our dream is to have a short strike, but the only way to achieve that is to keep the heat on. Please don't stop. And I'd ask for something else: it's been pushed off the headlines by the announcement negotiations will start again, but United Hollywood has put up a pencil campaign page to make it easier for fans to send pencils to the CEOs of the conglomerates:
Fans began the pencil campaign, but this makes it simpler: no need to do anything but push a button. And the poor guys in the mail room don't have to go through a sea of envelopes with pencils in them; instead, when a truck is full, it'll pull up to GE or Viacom (or whichever CEO is first on the list), hopefully making a greater impact. What happens if they refuse delivery (or even if they don't)? The WGA is ready with suggestions on where to donate the pencils to teach kids to write. The point isn't that the moguls use the pencils, obviously; it's the message.
The WGA has been asking for two things from the AMPTP: Please return to the table. And please make a fair deal. They've agreed to the first one, but without the second, it will be meaningless. That's the message of the pencils: Make a fair deal. It's not going to happen unless they know people are watching.
The pencils are from a sustainable source, and anything left over from the costs will go into the Union Solidarity Fund, which was created to help non-WGA members (other unions, office assistants, etc.) affected by the strike.
The fannish universe is a scattered place these days, with a lot of isolated planets; there aren't that many central gathering spots any more. If you have a journal or blog, and you want to help, I'd ask you to treat this like a meme and put up the pencil link in your journal, along with a suggestion that other people do the same. (If you want to include an explanation of the strike, you could link to my last post, or to United Hollywood.) Potentially, this could be a historic moment; fans have gotten together to support a show, but so far as I know, there's never been a pan-fandom movement to support writers. I'm hopeful, and I'm excited, and boy do I want to see how this turns out.
If enough pencils arrive, then maybe, by the time November 26 comes around and the AMPTP sits down at the table, they'll be serious about negotiating. And everyone can go back to work.
Let's bury them in pencils! :)