The membership of Hollywood’s Teamsters Local 399 has approved allocating $500,000 from the local’s treasury for an Emergency Relief Fund to assist members who “have found themselves in extreme financial hardship because of the COVID-19 pandemic.” The Fund, which will be administered by the Motion Picture & Television Fund, will cover up to $1,000 of a family-in-need’s basic living expenses.
“We believe that as a Union Family, when one of our Brothers or Sisters are hurting, we should be able to find ways to support them to the best of our ability,” the local said on its website. “We’d like to thank all of our eligible members who participated in this vote and took the time to thoroughly review the details of the Emergency Recovery Fund. We had 43% of eligible voters carefully consider this expenditure, and many that raised very important questions and valid concerns. Whether you voted to accept or reject this use of Local Union treasury funds, we are grateful for your participation in YOUR Union.”
Here’s how the local says it will work:
• This fund will be reserved exclusively for 399 Members that have found themselves in extreme financial hardship and will be given in the form of a grant of up to $1,000 per family. These grants do not go directly to Members, but rather to those designated vendors (banks for mortgages or car payments, utility company, landlord, healthcare providers or insurers) provided to MPTF.
• The allocation to MPTF will be paid out in $50,000 increments to make sure we only spend based on the actual need. If any money from the last $50,000 allotment remains, then those funds will remain with MPTF to be used for Members or Retirees of Local 399 with future needs.
• The total amount spent will be based on how many Members utilize this fund.
FAQ’s about the fund can be found here:
“If you are in need of immediate assistance at this time,” the local said, “please contact MPTF today as they will be able to begin processing your claim and may even be able to access other resources to serve even more of our Members prior to our fund launching next week. We are beyond grateful for the support and hard work of MPTF in serving all Entertainment Industry Workers navigating this difficult time.”
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