Hollywood unions and employers adopt agreement for safe return to work


Hollywood unions and employers adopt agreement for safe return to work

DGA, IATSE, SAG-AFTRA and the TEAMSTERS  have reached an agreement with the major studios on protocols to allow the industry to safely re-open. The protocols pave the way for creative workers, who have been hard hit by the pandemic, to resume their crafts and livelihoods in workplaces redesigned around their health. 

IATSE International President and UNI MEI chair, Matthew D. Loeb said,  “Though this process was not easy, unprecedented inter-union collaboration and unwavering solidarity enabled our unions to achieve strong COVID-19 protections that will translate into tangibly safer workplaces.”

The new guidelines are based on “The Safe Way Forward” report released by the unions in June, and developed in consultation with leading epidemiologists and experts; as well as the preceding industry white paper delivered to state governments and agencies to examine the resumption of production. The agreement is the outcome of unprecedented coordination and solidarity between the Directors Guild of America (DGA), International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE), International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT) and the Basic Crafts, and Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA).

Thomas Schlamme, President, Directors Guild of America said, “Getting everyone safely back to sets and back to telling stories in these difficult times has been critical for all of us. It has been a long and complicated journey, and none of it would have been possible without the collaboration and solidarity of our sister guilds and unions.”

The agreement with the employers’ association AMPTP that includes all major studios introduces comprehensive, mandatory testing for cast and crew and a zone system. Every member of the cast and crew will be tested before their first day of work and will subsequently undergo a regular testing protocol during their work on the production. A specialized “Zone” system builds barriers within which those on set can flow based on proximity to cast, level of testing, PPE, and the extent to which physical distancing can be observed in the performance of their work.

The accord foresees dedicated COVID-19 safety monitoring & enforcement measures. Each production will have a designated COVID-19 compliance supervisor responsible for safety compliance and enforcement, who will always be accessible to cast and crew during working hours. To ensure that safety protocols are being followed, the compliance supervisor or a member of their COVID-19 compliance team with training and authority will be physically present on the production.

The agreement on quarantine pay and sick pay is another important element of the deal that ensures that all employees will receive 10 days of COVID-19 paid sick leave, per producer. Employees who go on COVID-19 sick leave will be reinstated once they have been cleared to return to work, so long as their position continues to exist. Further, employees who are required to quarantine or isolate at the request of an employer, or as required by local law, will receive quarantine pay.


Use the following links to get more information on the work of the DGA and IATSE on COVID-19 and to download the return to work agreement between DGA, IASTE, SAG-AFTRA, TEAMSTERS and the AMPTP: DGA    |  IATSE