Major Hollywood unions, including AFM, DGA, IATSE, Teamsters, SAG-AFTRA, and the Writers Guild of America East, sent a joint letter to entertainment workers to stress the importance of solidarity as the coronavirus pandemic continues to impact the world and the entertainment industry.
“We come together on behalf of our respective memberships to ensure coordination between our efforts to secure relief, financial support and other critical assistance for the working professionals in this industry,” the letter read. “Our members understand the unique power of collective action. Through our unity, we reinforce that power to safeguard our members as much as possible during the extraordinary set of events we face today.”
The advice to members was to continue following CDC guidelines and focus on protective measures. It also addressed that guild have all be heavily focused on engaging in measures to ensure relief and support is provided to members.
Those measures include advocating for the inclusion of the workforce in the direct cash payments and expanded unemployment insurance available in the federal government’s aid packages recently passed by Congress, ensuring as many members as possible are included in state assistance programs across the country, channeling urgently needed donations to the industry’s charitable organizations that give direct support to the industry’s workforce, sharing information and ideas on ways to support the sustained financial well-being of their pension and health plans, which are all impacted by the pandemic.
“Like everyone else, there is uncertainty as to when this pandemic will end and subside for life to slowly resume to normal and production can resume,” the letter said. “We do share a great faith that our industry will return with vigor and present abundant opportunities for our members to work and to reengage in the craft of delivering entertainment to audiences around the world.”
The letter was signed by the following guild directors and presidents : Ray Hair, American Federation of Musicians; Thomas Schlamme, Directors Guild of America; Russell Hollander, Directors Guild of America; Matthew Loeb, International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees; James P. Hoffa, International Brotherhood of Teamsters; Gabrielle Carteris, Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists; David P. White, Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists; Beau Willimon, Writers Guild of America, East; and Lowell Peterson, Writers Guild of America, East.