IATSE, which represents stagehands and other technicians and artisans on Broadway, has joined other Broadway unions in calling for government relief for its workers.
The call comes after all Broadway shows were ordered to close from March 12 through April 12 due to the spread of COVID-19. Actors’ Equity and Local 802 made similar calls Thursday, as members of all three unions face lost wages and possible gaps in healthcare and other benefits.
“As social distancing measures are enacted and events and projects across all sectors of the entertainment industry are cancelled, it’s become clear that the COVID-19 crisis requires decisive action from our Federal Government to support displaced workers,” Matthew D. Loeb, international president of IATSE, said in a statement Friday.
Loeb notes that the spread of coronavirus has similarly affected his members working in film and television.
As such, he called on the federal government to pass a relief package, including measures to ensure continued healthcare, unemployment, disability and workers’ compensation. He also called on the government to create a “special emergency paid leave benefit” to help the union’s members.
Equity has separately said it is discussing possible compensation measures with employers.