Leaders of the WGA East are calling on their members to urge Congress to support paid leave for industry workers whose shows have been shuttered because of the coronavirus shutdown. The guild joins a growing list of industry unions advocating for governmental relief.
“Many people in Congress are not fully aware of how employment works in the entertainment industry, with people working from show to show, film to film, gig to gig,” said WGA East president Beau Willimon and executive director Lowell Peterson in a message to their members today. “Please send an email to your U.S. senators and representative ASAP to make sure our members’ needs are addressed in the upcoming legislation to protect people affected by the COVID-19 virus.
Congress, they noted, is considering legislation to provide this critical economic support, “but our representatives need to know about our unique employment situation so that this support extends to WGA East members whose productions have been affected by the virus. This is a fast-moving, chaotic time on the Hill and we need to make sure our elected representatives consider the needs of people who work in the entertainment industry.
“The WGAE, the Department of Professional Employees, AFL-CIO, and our sister entertainment unions are advocating for emergency income support for people who lose their jobs because their productions are shut down or delayed because of the coronavirus.”