SAG-AFTRA’s national board is requiring its 160,000 members to fully comply with COVID-19 safety protocols on set, saying that they will face disciplinary action if they fail to do so.
The board voted Monday to approve an amendment to its member rules, three months after SAG-AFTRA and the other major Hollywood unions announced on Sept. 21 that they had reached an agreement with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers on protocols to allow the industry to safely restart production amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Prior to that point, the safety protocols were hammered out on a production-by-production basis.
The amended rule provides for member discipline to be imposed for any violation of the protocols and defines a procedure for review, consideration and adjudication of such violations.
SAG-AFTRA Chief Operating Officer and General Counsel Duncan Crabtree-Ireland, who heads the union’s Pandemic Safety and Return to Work initiative, said: “The vast majority of SAG-AFTRA members working on set are consistently and conscientiously protecting themselves and their fellows by following the pandemic protocols laid out in the Return to Work agreement. This new rule makes absolutely clear SAG-AFTRA’s commitment to ensuring that everyone takes on set safety very seriously, including rules and protocols designed to help prevent the spread of COVID.”
The rule reads: “It shall be the duty of every member to fully comply with workplace safety protocols approved by SAG-AFTRA. It shall be the duty of every member to report to the union any violation by a signatory of any of the union’s collective bargaining agreements, as the same now exist or may hereafter be amended. A charge of violation of this rule filed by a member in good standing under Article XIV of the Constitution must be based on the member’s in-person observation of the violation; a charge filed by the union shall be based on its investigation of the facts and circumstances.”
On-location film permits for the Los Angeles area slowed by 7.6% from October to November as production activity eased amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, according to the FilmLA agency. The industry, which was mostly shuttered from March to June, has received approximately 3,552 film permit applications spanning 2,514 unique projects over the past 20 weeks for location shooting in the Los Angeles area. For the first time since production resumed, month-over-month permit volume decreased in November as application intake declined to 813 permits from 880 in October.