1912 – The Authors League of America is founded to protect the interests of professional writers.
1921 – The Writers, precursor to the Screen Writers Guild and operating as a social club, develops as a branch of the Authors League of America.
1933 – The Screen Writers Guild forms as a union, opening its first headquarters in Hollywood, California. John Howard Lawson serves as its first president.
1937 – The US Supreme Court upholds the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), also known as the Wagner Act, which was passed by Congress in 1935 to recognize employees’ rights to form and join unions and engage in collective bargaining.
October 10, 1940 – The guild is identified as the “exclusive collective bargaining agent for all screen writer employees” on the first producer-screen writer agreement.
1948 – The first annual awards are presented at the Hotel Bel-Air in Los Angeles.
August-November 1952 – The Screen Writers Guild and the Authors League of America go on a 14-week strike against the Alliance of Television Film Producers over royalty payments and ownership rights.
1954 – The Screen Writers Guild joins with the Television Writers of America and the Radio Writers of America to become WGAE and WGAW. WGAE is headquartered in New York, and WGAW in Los Angeles.
January-June 19, 1960 – The Writers Guild of America goes on a 21-week strike against the Alliance of Television Film Producers and against film studios that produce television shows. An agreement is reached regarding revenue from the sale of movies shown on television.
March 6, 1973-June 24, 1973 – The Writers Guild of America goes on strike for increased wages and better health benefits.
April-July 1981 – The guild goes on strike for 13 weeks for a share of the revenue from cable television.
March 5-19, 1985 – The Writers Guild of America goes on strike regarding royalties from videocassette sales.
March 7, 1988 – The guild goes on strike against the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers and television networks. Key issues are residuals from foreign and domestic reruns, retaining artistic control and the television residuals payment formula.
May 11, 1988 – “The Tonight Show” with Johnny Carson returns to air without guild content.
May 26, 1988 – The Writers Guild of America voters approve signing agreements with more than 70 independent production companies, including the producers of “The Cosby Show,” “The Tonight Show” and “ALF.”
June 22, 1988 – Guild members vote to reject the contract offered by the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers.
July 6, 1988 – The guild approves a revised interim agreement to be offered to the more than 100 independent production companies who previously signed agreements with the guild. Networks including NBC, ABC, Fox and CBS say they won’t purchase new shows from producers who sign the revised deal.
July 12, 1988 – The Writers Guild of America files an antitrust lawsuit against producers and television networks, alleging an illegal boycott of independent producers who sign the interim guild agreement.
July 14, 1988 – The Writers Coalition, a 21-member…