The union announced the move on Monday as part of “social-distancing tactics to help reduce the possibility of potential exposure or transmission through travel and attendance at face-to-face meetings.”
The initiative was announced in an email sent to the 160,000 SAG-AFTRA members by union president Gabrielle Carteris and national executive director David White.
“This is a dynamic and fast-changing situation,” they said. “We are closely monitoring public health advisories and will continue to work with member leaders, staff, employers and community partners to provide updates as conditions evolve.”
“Effective immediately, SAG-AFTRA is canceling, postponing or reconfiguring certain national and local in-person meetings,” Carteris and White said. “The union will not be scheduling new, large, national group meetings in the immediate future.”
“The local presidents unanimously agreed to cancel, postpone or reschedule nonessential face-to-face meetings in all locals across the country until further notice,” they added. “This includes membership, board and committee meetings, as well as local educational workshops, panels, mixers, conservatory and film society events. Essential SAG-AFTRA meetings shall be conducted remotely where physical attendance is not required.”
“Nonessential travel by SAG-AFTRA leadership and staff is strongly discouraged,” Carteris and White also said. “This includes all travel not related to mandatory in-person events or meetings.”
Members and staff have also been told, “If you or a member of your household are unwell, do not come to a SAG-AFTRA meeting or office. If you have any symptoms, but especially if you have a fever or breathing problems, stay at home and seek appropriate medical advice if warranted. Please note that if you come to SAG-AFTRA and you appear unwell, you will be asked to leave.”
The message also said SAG-AFTRA national and local facilities teams are disinfecting high-touch surfaces and door handles several times throughout the day and have provided hand sanitizer in all offices.