120,000 Below-the-Line Hollywood Jobs Lost in Coronavirus Shutdown, IATSE Says

“It is critical that our industry be included in pending federal relief package,” cinematographer’s union says in letter to members

Last Updated: March 18, 2020 @ 9:00 PM

In a message to members, the International Cinematographers Guild said that data from the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, of which ICG is a member, shows at least 120,000 below-the-line Hollywood workers have lost their jobs in the shutdowns mandated by the coronavirus pandemic.

Subsequently, ICG is calling on assistance from the federal government for affected workers in the entertainment industry.

“By the time you have finished reading this weekly, the circumstances we find ourselves in will have already changed. We are writing to tell you what we know at this moment and what we are working on at your local as our industry joins the world in shutting down and workers and their families are left wondering about their futures,” said the letter, signed by 12 ICG executives including its president, John Lindley. “The IATSE reports that the pandemic shutdown has resulted in the loss of 120,000 jobs held by its 150,000 members. It is critical that our industry be included in pending federal relief package.”

“Although some of our members are being paid for up to two weeks after their shows shut down, based upon the reality of the health care crisis we now face, it is highly unlikely that productions will resume after so short a period of time. This problem is likely to continue for months, not weeks, and our concerns about health, benefits and economic stability are shared by the entire membership. Your health and safety and the well-being of your families are paramount to us,” the message continued, according to Variety.

“You have many questions about your benefit hours and the ability of the plans, both active and retiree, to withstand a period of diminished contributions and an uncertain investment environment. It is important to note that both plans currently have months of reserves and are not threatened at this moment.”

“To ensure the safety of our employees and their families, all our regional offices have closed or are minimally staffed. Transitioning our entire organization to work remotely is complex and will take some time to work out, but the staff is on it full time. Every action taken serves the goal of reducing transmission, protecting the health care system from collapse and giving medical professionals and researchers the time they need to identify and implement measures that reduce the devastation.”

Representatives for ICG and IATSE did not immediately respond to requests for comment from TheWrap. Deadline first reported the IATSE job loss statistics.

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