September 19, 2009

Wells elected president of WGA West

U.S. producer John Wells was elected president of the West Coast branch of the Writers Guild of America, results show.

The Hollywood Reporter said Friday Wells garnered nearly 53 percent of the 2,348 votes cast in defeating Elias Davis, a Writers United official who served as secretary-treasurer under outgoing WGA West President Patric Verrone.

The Reporter said Davis had been expected to maintain Verrone's hard-line stance in contract negotiations had he been elected. Writers United is a coalition that advocates taking a strong stance when dealing with top studios on collective contracts.

While Wells triumphed over Davis, Writers United got two of its officials into top WGA West posts. Tom Schulman and David Weiss were elected vice president and secretary-treasurer, respectively, the Reporter said.

The election came amid an employment crisis for WGA West and its members as the union declared its fiscal year ending March 31 found it facing a nearly 18 percent drop in earnings.