The Hollywood white paper on the safe return to work, issued Monday by the Industry-Wide Labor-Management Safety Committee Task Force, was a good start, but there’s still a lot of work to be done before it can be implemented. Union leaders say that the proposals (read them here), which have been submitted to California Gov. Gavin Newsom, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and to the Los Angeles County Department of Health, is just a starting point for bargaining with management’s Alliance of Motion Picture & Television Producers for restarting film and TV production during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The International Cinematographers Guild, IATSE Local 600, which today issued its own protocols, told its members Monday that the white paper “is a critical first step in moving towards returning to work safely,” but noted the implementation of those guidelines and the craft-specific details for each union and guild “will now be the subject of bargaining with the employers.”
Hollywood’s Teamsters Local 399 said in a message to its members that “While the Industry White Paper provides a solid foundation for the appropriate state agencies to examine the resumption of production, the discussions will continue between the Producers, the Unions and Guilds over how it affects our respective agreements. There is still a lot of work ahead of us to not only ensure the safety of our members on set, but also to ensure the jobs of our members and our collective bargaining agreements are protected throughout this process.”
“This paper will be the foundation for discussions with the AMPTP for the application of the Return to Work protocols,” IATSE Prop Local 44 told its members.
SAG-AFTRA told its members Monday that “This document is an initial set of principles and guidelines that we all agree form a relevant and realistic first step to protecting cast and crew in the reopening of the entertainment and media industry in its two largest markets. As we have reported previously, our draft protocols are being developed with advice and input from our epidemiologist and industrial sanitation experts, with guidance from member leaders, staff, our fellow unions and labor relations and sanitation officials. Our protocols will be completed and released in the coming days.”
The DGA, whose National Board Covid-19 Safety Committee is developing its own guidelines for reopening, told its members Monday that “While the Industry White Paper provides a solid foundation for the appropriate state agencies to examine the resumption of production, and calls for mandatory testing – it also expressly states that with respect to mandatory testing protocols and other key areas such as personal protective equipment (PPE), department-specific operational protocols and project-specific workflows, there will be further discussions between the Producers and the Unions and Guilds.”
“That is where our Committee and our coordinated efforts with our sister Guilds and Unions come in,” the DGA said. “Beginning with the work of our Committee, it has been meeting regularly for over six weeks to develop plans addressing these issues. From the outset, the Committee recognized a science-based approach was vital to getting these protocols right. The reality is that we live in a pre-vaccine world, and physical distancing and PPE are not always possible in our unique workplaces, particularly for those performing in front of the camera. And so, the Committee assembled a coalition of world-renowned epidemiologists and infectious disease experts to help in the development of a plan.”
The Editors Guild, IATSE Local 700, said that “The White Paper contains general guidelines to be used by government ofﬁcials to incorporate the entertainment industry into any re-opening plans. The industry is continuing to work on phase 2, which will contain more details speciﬁc to the various crafts/areas of work.”
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