- Associated Press - Monday, March 21, 2011

LOS ANGELES (AP) - The union representing more than 12,000 writers of Hollywood-made movies and TV shows has agreed to a tentative deal with the studios.

The three-year agreement reached Sunday by the Writers Guild of America follows similar pacts reached in the last several months by two actors unions and the directors union. It locks in 2 percent wage increases for each year of the deal. West and East Coast branches will need to approve the deal before it is sent to members for ratification.

The agreement came after less than three weeks of bargaining and is a stark contrast to the dragged-out disputes of years past. A writers strike in 2008 shut down much of Hollywood for 100 days. In 2009, actors signed a shortened two-year pact after a year of public feuding.

The writers’ new deal increases employers’ contributions to a pension plan, but freezes so-called residual payments for shows that end up on network TV during prime time. It also eases rules that had mandated first-class air travel for certain short flights.