As the theatre industry begins to feel the immediate impacts of cancellations and restrictions due to coronavirus concerns, unions representing actors, musicians, and called for protections for its members.
"Right now, thousands of our members across all sectors of the entertainment industry are suffering financial hardship because of government mandated cancellations," said IATSE International President Matthew D. Loeb.
His statement goes on to urge for a relief package that would ensure health and unemployment benefits for impacted members.
See below for the full statement from IATSE.
As social distancing measures are enacted and events and projects across all sectors of the entertainment industry are canceled, it’s become clear that the COVID-19 crisis requires decisive action from our Federal Government to support displaced entertainment workers.
Right now, thousands of our members across all sectors of the entertainment industry are suffering financial hardship because of government mandated cancellations. Entertainment workers shouldn’t be collateral damage in the fight against the COVID-19 virus.
But this isn’t just about us. Economic studies demonstrate that entertainment spending reverberates throughout our communities nationwide. Film and Television Production alone injects $49 Billion into local businesses per year, and the overall entertainment industry supports 2.1 Million jobs in municipal and state economies.
Along with the other entertainment unions and the labor movement at large, we call on the Federal government to pass a relief package that prioritizes workers whose incomes have been lost as a result of this crisis. Strong measures like ensuring continuity of health benefits, providing enhanced and extended unemployment, disability, and workers compensation insurance are necessary for ensuring the financial stability of entertainment workers and their families. Additionally, the government should enact a special emergency paid leave benefit geared to include our members.
It is vital that these measures are enacted as soon as possible to provide effective emergency relief for workers who have felt the economic consequences of the Coronavirus the hardest.