Brothers and Sisters,
We know that you and your members have been through a tremendous amount of stress during the past few weeks and we hope that this email continues to find you safe and healthy.
As you know, the International has been fully engaged in both the United States and Canada throughout this crisis. We have lobbied governments to provide unemployment benefits to our members, worked with benefit plans to implement changes, established IATSE C.A.R.E.S., negotiated with many employers to continue payments to our members for a period of time and the General Executive Board has approved a $2.5 million contribution to three industry charities to assist our affected members. All Officers, Representatives and Staff are operating remotely and continue to assist and service our local unions and their members.
We are very aware of the financial and economic impact the COVID-19 shutdown has had on your Locals and your memberships. On March 18th all local union Treasurers and Secretaries were sent an email advising them of a temporary change to Article Nineteen, Section 13 to reduce financial pressures on our Locals. As the crisis has continued, we have examined additional options to partner with our local unions and provide them with relief on their per capita obligations.
Based on those reviews and our efforts to continue to support our Locals and Members, the General Executive Board has approved a reduction to second quarter per capita payments. Upon the submission of second quarter reports, the International will reduce the numbers reported by each Local by one third. This will have the practical effect of eliminating one third (one month) of the amount of per capita payments that are due for the second quarter. This will result in a savings of almost $3.0 million in per capita payments for our local unions.
Each Local should submit their second quarter report as normal with the actual number of members listed and the one third reduction calculation will be done automatically by our system in the General Office. Per capita stamps will be issued in accordance with the actual numbers reported in order that each of your dues paying members receives a per capita stamp. For those Locals that have already paid for the second quarter or beyond, there will be a credit issued to your account once you submit your second quarter report and that credit will be able to be used in future quarters.
We wish all of you and your families health and safety in these challenging times.
Matthew D. Loeb
James B. Wood
Sisters, Brothers, Kin--
With COVID-19 ravaging communities and industries across the world, we need to provide support to our most at-risk, elderly, and disabled members. To that end, the International has launched C.A.R.E.S. (Coronavirus Active Response and Engagement Service), a new initiative to organize mutual aid for the most vulnerable of our sisters and brothers.
Our efforts will be centered around a new website: iatsecares.org. The initiative establishes a “Buddy System”, where members in need may request for a volunteer to call them at the frequency of their choice.
The initiative also establishes a delivery system, where members in need can have a trusted volunteer deliver groceries, prescriptions, and other necessary supplies within 72 hours.
But for this to work, first we need volunteers to help. Can you register to volunteer on our new site?
Sign up to volunteer here.
The IATSE C.A.R.E.S. Task Force
The 2020 North American International Auto Show in Detroit has been canceled this year because the Federal Emergency Management Agency chose the TCF Center to become a field hospital for COVID-19 cases for at least six months.
The show, one of Southeast Michigan's signature events, will resume in June 2021, the organizers informed show sponsors in a memo Saturday that was obtained by the Free Press.
"The health and welfare of the citizens of Detroit and Michigan is paramount. TCF Center is the ideal location for this important function at this critical and unprecedented time,” NAIAS Executive Director Rod Alberts said in the memo.
Auto show officials declined to comment on the memo.
The 2021 show will include all the events planned for this year, when the event was to move from its longtime home in January to summer so it could offer outdoor events along the riverfront, including test drives, demonstrations of self-driving cars and other new technologies plus Motor Bella, a pre-show street festival of Italian and English cars in the heart of downtown.
The cancellation is another blow to the region’s hospitality industry.
The show routinely draws 800,000 paying customers to its public days, plus thousands of automaker and supplier executives, engineers and journalists who attend pre-show events, filling restaurants and hotels. The cancellation is more stress for those companies already suffering from the show’s absence in January and current COVID-19 restrictions.
The Detroit Auto Dealers Association moved the show from its traditional mid-winter slot to make the most of Detroit’s burgeoning downtown in the often-lovely days of early summer. Automakers, who have been looking for ways to make auto shows more appealing to customers as internet shopping increases, seized on the idea as an opportunity to offer test drives, demonstrate the off-road prowess of SUVs and impress customers with new safety systems, electric and self-driving vehicles.
Holding the show in June became increasingly unfeasible as the economy reels from the impact of COVID-19.
Even before it became clear a temporary field hospital was the best use of TCF Center’s space and central location, there was reason to wonder if customers would be considering big purchases, or have interest in automakers introducing fancy new vehicles, barely two months from now.
The 2020 show had been scheduled to begin with the Motor Bella Italian and English vehicle street fest June 5-7; press and industry days June 9-11; the Charity Preview June 12, and the public show June 13-20.
New 2021 show dates and events
Washington (CNN) The Senate on Wednesday approved a historic, $2 trillion stimulus package to provide a jolt to an economy reeling from the coronavirus pandemic, capping days of intense negotiations that produced one of the most expensive and far-reaching measures Congress has ever considered.
In a remarkable sign of overwhelming bipartisan support for the legislation, the vote was unanimous at 96-0.
The legislation represents the largest emergency aid package in US history and the most significant legislative action taken to address the rapidly intensifying coronavirus crisis, which is overwhelming hospitals and grinding much of the economy to a halt.
It will next go to the House for a vote. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer announced Wednesday evening ahead of Senate passage that the House will convene at 9 a.m. on Friday to consider the relief package. The plan is to pass the bill by voice vote, a move that would allow the House to avoid forcing all members to return to Washington for a recorded roll call vote.
President Donald Trump has indicated he will sign the measure and tweeted his congratulations after it cleared the Senate.
The White House and Senate leaders struck a major deal early Wednesday morning on the package. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell formally announced the agreement on the Senate floor, describing it as "a wartime level of investment for our nation."
Legislative text of the final deal was released Wednesday evening ahead of a final vote. Key elements of the proposal are $250 billion set aside for direct payments to individuals and families, $350 billion in small business loans, $250 billion in unemployment insurance benefits and $500 billion in loans for distressed companies.
The plan will deliver a massive infusion of financial aid into a struggling economy hard hit by job loss, with provisions to help impacted American workers and families as well as small businesses and major industries including airlines.
Under the plan, individuals who earn $75,000 in adjusted gross income or less would get direct payments of $1,200 each, with married couples earning up to $150,000 receiving $2,400 -- and an additional $500 per each child. The payment would scale down by income, phasing out entirely at $99,000 for singles and $198,000 for couples without children.
In addition, the bill would provide a major amount of funding for hard-hit hospitals -- $130 billion -- as well as $150 billion for state and local governments that are cash-strapped due to their response to coronavirus.
It also has a provision that would block Trump and his family, as well as other top government officials and members of Congress, from getting loans or investments from Treasury programs in the stimulus, according to Minority Leader Chuck Schumer's office.
A few senators were missing from the vote due to concerns about their health amid the coronavirus outbreak, including GOP Sen. Whip John Thune who missed the vote because he was not feeling well, his communications director said in a series of tweets. The tweets do not mention coronavirus or self-quarantine, but said he returned home to South Dakota "out of an abundance of caution."
Hard-fought negotiationsA deal came together after hard-fought negotiations between congressional Republicans, Democrats and the Trump administration.
After two consecutive days of high-profile setbacks -- with Senate Democrats blocking procedural votes on Sunday and Monday over opposition to a bill initially crafted by Senate Republicans -- a deal appeared to be imminent by Tuesday morning, but was ultimately not announced until the early hours of Wednesday morning.
Democrats had argued over the course of negotiations that they wanted to see more safeguards for American workers in the deal and oversight for how funding would be doled out.
There was intense partisan debate over the $500 billion proposal to provide loans to distressed companies, with $50 billion in loans for passenger air carriers. Democrats initially contended there was not enough oversight on how the money would be disbursed, but the Trump administration agreed to an oversight board and the creation of an inspector general position to review how the money is spent.
There has also been controversy over the stimulus plan's unemployment benefits.
On Wednesday afternoon, the package hit a last-minute snag with a group of Republican senators arguing that it would incentivize unemployment and could trigger worker shortages and supply disruptions by providing more money to some unemployed workers than they would make working.
"This bill pays you more not to work than if you were working," GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina said. "You're literally incentivizing taking people out of the workforce at a time when we need critical infrastructure supplied with workers."
Republican critics secured a Wednesday evening vote on an amendment to cap unemployment benefits at 100% of the wages workers received while employed, but the amendment did not pass.
Legislation heads to the House nextHouse Speaker Nancy Pelosi is now emphasizing that Democrats should "recognize the good" in the massive stimulus.
"What is important is for us to recognize the good that is in the bill, appreciate it for what it does. Don't judge it for what it doesn't because we have more bills to come," the California Democrat told CNN's Wolf Blitzer on "The Situation Room" Wednesday evening.
Those comments came just after Pelosi told House Democrats on a series of conference calls that she is already thinking about the substance of the fourth coronavirus relief package that Congress will have to pass to respond to the crisis, according to sources on the calls.
Pelosi made it clear to members who are disappointed that the pending bill did not include enough of their priorities that they will have a chance to add those provisions in the fourth package, the sources said.
But passage in the House has been made more daunting by the fact that several of its members have tested positive for coronavirus, while many more have self-quarantined after contact with infected individuals.
A voice vote is a procedural move that would avoid a recorded roll call vote, which would have forced members now dispersed throughout the country to travel back to Washington to get the stimulus across the finish line.
"Members are further advised that due to the limited flight options, Members participating in self-quarantine, and several states mandating stay-at-home orders, we expect the bill to pass by voice vote on Friday," Hoyer announced in a notice to members Wednesday evening.
Pelosi had suggested on Tuesday that she was hoping to avoid bringing the full House back to Washington to vote on the package, seeking to pass it through unanimous consent instead. But any individual member can block such a move, which would make passage more difficult.
This story has been updated to include additional developments Wednesday.CNN's Phil Mattingly, Paul LeBlanc and Veronica Stracqualursi contributed to this report.
New York, NY -- With thousands of entertainment workers displaced as a result of social distancing measures to stem the spread of the COVID-19 virus, the IATSE General Executive Board approved $2.5 million in donations to three entertainment charities Tuesday. The funding will go to the Actors Fund, the Motion Picture and Television Fund, and the Actors Fund of Canada.
Matthew D. Loeb, International President of the IATSE said, “These charities have been assisting and supporting IATSE members and entertainment industry workers for a very long time. They understand the needs of these workers, and are perfectly situated to act as our partners to help those experiencing hardship caused by the current health crisis.”
The move comes amid a broad campaign for the union to support displaced members and entertainment workers in General. “We are actively investigating all possible courses of action that can help ensure the financial stability of members who have lost work as a result of this virus” reads a March 11 email to IATSE membership. The IATSE is also working with employers on emergency measures and actively lobbying the federal government to ensure that displaced entertainment workers are included in relief.
# # #
The International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) is an international union representing over 150,000 members employed in the stagecraft, motion picture and television production, and trade-show industries throughout the United States, its territories, and Canada.
For more information please contact
Sisters, Brothers, Kin--
The only way we are going to get through the COVID-19 crisis is by organizing together to make our voices heard loud and clear by congress.
In just 24 hours, IATSE members and allies have sent over 40,000 emails directly to their congresspeople asking them to ensure that federal relief for workers amid the COVID-19 crisis applies to displaced entertainment professionals. But we still need your help.
If we can get enough letters sent to congress, we can pressure our government making sure the people who make American culture happen are covered in a Coronavirus relief package.
If you haven’t already, can you send your congressperson an email? We took steps to make it as easy as possible where your personal info is used to automatically match your letter to the proper congresspeople. It takes no more than two minutes.
Click here to tell Congress to include displaced entertainment workers in relief package.
If you’ve already sent your letter, please share this campaign with friends, family, co-workers, and allies. You can click the links to easily share directly on Facebook or Twitter.
Sisters, Brothers, Kin--
As you know, entertainment workers are being uniquely impacted by the coronavirus. The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (H.R. 6201), which was passed by the House of Representatives Saturday, is a good start to providing relief to workers. However, the provisions on the table for emergency paid leave benefits won’t apply to displaced entertainment workers because of the requirements for days worked on a job to qualify.
Entertainment workers shouldn’t be collateral damage in the fight against COVID-19. We need a special Emergency Coronavirus Economic Support Benefit geared to include workers who have a bona fide, good faith offer to work that gets canceled due to the coronavirus.
Click here to tell congress to include entertainment workers in their coronavirus relief package.
We want to thank Sister Jennifer Petty for compiling the following information and sharing on Facebook.
We’re all concerned about incomes, so it is important to know what resources are out there and in the works. Not everyone sees the information being scattered about, so, I’m posting a condensed version here.
Sisters, Brothers, Kin--
With regards to the COVID-19 virus, the safety and well-being of our members and their families is our number one priority.
The International’s Disaster Response Committee is closely following the most up-to-date guidance and information as provided by the Center for Disease Control, The Public Health Agency of Canada, and the World Health Organization, and will continue to relay that information to Local Officers and members. Additionally, we are in constant contact with our health plans and local health care centers to ensure the health and safety of our communities.
We are working with employers across all sectors of the Entertainment Industry on policies that will help prevent infections in our workplaces. With the variety of crafts we represent and the unique challenges that come with each in this situation, we are collaborating with our Local Unions to produce and distribute craft-specific workplace guidelines. If members have any specific workplace health safety concerns, please report it via our Safety Info App (iOS, Play Store), or by talking to your Local Union.
In addition to the obvious health concerns posed by the virus itself, fears of the virus are also wreaking havoc on the economy, and specifically the Entertainment Industry. The honest truth is that many IATSE jobs are at risk as more events and projects are cancelled.
We are actively investigating all possible courses of action that can help ensure the financial stability of members who lose work as a result of the COVID-19 virus. We are also reviewing all of our contracts for any pertinent provisions (i.e. Force Maejure).
Finally, we have created a Coronavirus Update Portal on our website. We will continue to publish helpful resources and developments about the COVID-19 virus there.