The Editors Guild, IATSE Local 700, has reduced union dues by 50% for all members for the second quarter of 2020. The move was taken after a unanimous vote of the guild’s board of directors, meeting remotely, in response to the industry’s COVID-19 shutdown.
“We are indeed facing an unprecedented crisis, certainly unlike anything our union has ever had to endure,” said Local 700 president Alan Heim and national executive director Cathy Repola in a joint statement emailed to the guild’s 8,300 members. The motion to trim dues also included waiving the $7 processing fee for paying by credit card.
The guild says that though many members have been thrown out of work, “some have transitioned to work at home or have been kept on the payroll temporarily until a clearer picture emerges of the road back to work.”
“We also recognize many of you lost work and, therefore, your incomes,” Heim and Repola told their members. “As challenging as it has been, we are keenly aware this could get worse for many of our members before it gets better. Those of you still reporting to work sites, the employer must ensure your safety.”
The members’ dues support collective bargaining and contract enforcement, and the work of the office staff and field representatives in Los Angeles and New York.
IATSE reported recently that 90%-95% of its 150,000 members across the country are not working as a result of the shutdown of the entertainment industry.
Repola and Heim said the guild is closely monitoring the financial impact the pandemic is having on members and guild resources. “We are prepared to make non-essential cost-cutting measures in spending and weigh utilizing some of our reserves if necessary,” they said.
The Editors Guild joins a growing list of industry unions and guilds providing some form of dues relief to their members during the coronavirus crisis, including SAG-AFTRA, the DGA, Actors’ Equity, the Producers Guild, the International Cinematographers Guild (IATSE Local 600), IATSE Grips Local 80, IATSE Costumers Local 705, IATSE Make-Up & Hair Stylists Guild Local 706, Hollywood’s Teamsters Local 399 and LA’s Musicians Local 47.