As hundreds of thousands of workers are facing lay-offs or have no job opportunities in the freelance labour markets of the media and entertainment sector, unions and guilds across the globe are working hard to support workers during this crisis.

A report issued by UNI Global Union highlights trade union action and support measures that are being put in place by governments, funding agencies and the European Union in response to the COVID-19 crisis. The report is available for download in English, French and Spanish below.

Unions and guilds affiliated to UNI Global Union are responding to the crisis by setting-up of solidarity funds and support measures for members. For example, IATSE the US below-the line union has committed $ 2.5 million in donations to three entertainment charities.

Labour organisations are also negotiating agreements with companies and employers’ associations to temper the impact of the pandemic on workers.   For example, in Germany, the ver.di Filmunion signed an agreement with the German Producers’ Alliance that ensures full wages for cast and crew who are put on short time work. While the state will cover 60% via its relief package, producers agreed to top up and cover the remaining 40%. 

Lobbying efforts by affiliates in recent days have focused on governments and film funding agencies to put in place measures that bring rapid financial aid and better protection to the entire workforce of the industry. In several countries these efforts have been successful. In on of the latest devlopments, arts, entertainment, and media unions secured access to economic support for creative professionals in the COVID-19 relief legislation adopted by the Congress on 27 March.

Hovermore, more action and long-term support programmes by national governments and intrenational bodies that are targeted to the specific needs of the industry will be necessary as this crisi continues to unfold. 

UNI MEI has set-up a section on its website dedicated to news and information on the latest developments within the global media and entertainment industry and responses to the COVID-19 crisis. 

The page is updated daily at: Fighting the COVID-19 Crisis