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

Unions and guilds affiliated to UNI Global Union are responding to the crisis by setting-up of solidarity funds and support measures for members, negotiating agreements with companies and employers' associations. They are lobbying 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.

Many media workers are an essential part of the global fight against the pandemic, keeping the media system running and making programmes to inform, educate and entertain citizens. Unions are giving advice and support to workers to ensure their  health and safety on the job. Special agreements with employers have been negotiated to respond to the extraordinary situation media workers are facing. 

This page is a resource providing links to news and information on some of the latest developments within the global media and enetratinment industry and its response to the COVID-19 crisis. The page is updated daily.


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26 June

The Film and Television Health And Safety Advisory Committee of  Ontario, Canada releases COVID-19 Guidance Document

25 June

A Study by Olsberg SPI stresses importance of film & TV sector for global economic recovery from impact of Covid-19

UK industry publishes Covid-19 safety guidelines for cinemas

24 June

Chair of European Parliament Culture Committee: "EU must "do much more" to save European film and culture from Covid ruin"

22 June

For a safe return to work for the global film & TV industry: FIA-UNI MEI joint statement on post-Covid-19 Measures in Film and TV production

19 June

Swedish COVID-19 guidelines for film & TV production are now available in English

Sindcine, Siaesp and APRO submit joint Audiovisual Work Safety and Health Protocol to authorties of Sao Paulo, Brazil 

15 June

American Film Market's online list of COVID-19 Production Guidelines brings together sfaety protocols in film & TV production from across the globe

12 June

COVID-19 Safety Guidelines for US film & TV production released

9 June

California governor says production can resume on June 12

Italian cinemas get set to reopen, shored up by new forms of support

The German government examines the impact of COVID-19 on the national audiovisual sector

8 June

Hollywood studios, guilds submit Covid-19 white paper to CA, NYC governors

4 June

Teaterforbundet, film & TV producers and media companies agree on revised guidelines for film and television production in Sweden during the corona pandemic

2 June

UK: Guidance for film and high-end TV drama and safe working in post-production and VFX have been released 

29 May

Ireland preparing Covid-19 guidelines as film and TV production given date to resume

French cinemas given green light to reopen from June 22

28 May

Bectu backs further pressure on Treasury to extend support to creative freelancers

Polish director and honorary president of European filmmaker body FERA Agnieszka Holland shares her thoughts on the future of independent cinema amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

27 May 


IATSE Grips Local 80 Chief and IATSE 2nd Vice President Thom Davis On Restarting Production: “There Is A Deep Understanding Of The Perils If We Don’t Get It Right”

25 May

As the creative industry prepares to return to work Bectu is striving to formulate a ‘new deal’ for freelancers and precarious workers’ that will protect them in their workplaces

A staggering 90 per cent of 1000 members of MEAA survey said they were either without any income or it had been significantly reduced. #noworkerleftbehind

IATSE hires Epidemiologists to Consult on Reopening Procedures

22 May

UK industry fast-tracks training to help film and TV production resume

Mexican government backpedals on proposal to cut film fund

20 May

The Argentine National Film Academy is setting-up a support fund for the film and audiovisual industry amid COVID-19

Watch solidarity action of Taiwan Public Television Service Enterprise Union (TPTSEU)  in support of colleagues at ABS-CBN, Philippines

19 May

Overall wellbeing of crew must be considered as TV productions return to work, says Bectu

18 May

DGC Ontario launches member volonteer network to assist members who need assistance during COVID-19

Norwegian government adds €7.7m to film funding for coronavirus support

Iceland eases quarantine rules to allow in international productions

15 May

House Democrats unveil HEROES Act, addressing many IATSE legislative priorities

NABU, Philippines calls for passage of a explicitly pro-worker legislative franchise after the expiration of the 5-month provisional franchise for broadacster ABS-CBN

SICA-APMA, Argentina calls for a solution for workers who do not have access to insurance and benefits

SINDCINE, Brazil presents its proposal for a security protocol for return work in film and TV production after raising the alaram about a pseudo-protocol launched by a producer 

14 May

Bectu issues report on the film & TV recovery plan

Watch UNI Apro MEI President Masatoshi Nakamura's solidarity message

13 May

Bectu outlines production restart member survey responses

Report on the Impacts of COVID-19 On Performing Arts International Mobility

Japan’s Movie Theaters Begin Cautious Reopening

12 May

Sabine Verheyen, Chair of  European Parliament's Culture Committee  calls for doubling money for Creative Europe

World Economic Forum issuse paper on how coronavirus has changed the film and TV industry

11 May

The Flanders Audiovisual Fund (VAF) has unveiled a temporary aid scheme, which aims to support the distribution of local productions after the Covid-19 lockdown is lifted

8 May

Norway’s Cinemas Can Reopen, but for Many It’s Too Soon

Italy Eyeing June to Start Recovery Efforts for Film, TV Production

7 May

US Entertainment Industry Unions Working to Safely Reopen Production

A return to work, but not at the cost of health security for professionals in the cinema, audiovisual, animated film and technical services, says SPIAC-CGT

Europe's cultural and creative sectors call for ambitious EU budgetary measures to revover from COVID-19

6 May

SAG-AFTRA and IATSE present A Virtual Town Hall with U.S. Rep. Adam Schiff

Open letter to the President of the Republic of French trade unions of  the cultural sector

UK cinemas eyeing late June opening with four-pronged approach

5 May

Bectu takes leading role in detailed consultation on production ‘return to work’ standards

Ireland unveils plans to re-open cinemas in August

4 May

In an interview with the Waterloo Region Record, IATSE Int'l VP John Morgan Lewis said that if the film industry is shut down from mid-March to the end of June, Canada could stand to lose about $2.5 billion in production volume.

SPIAC-CGT survey finds that between 45% and 86% of entertainment companies leave their free lance workers (intermittents) without any protection against impact of COVID-19

Movie Theaters in Norway to Reopen May 7 With 50 People Cap Per Screen

1 May

UNI ‘s May Day Message: We must seize this moment to demand a better world

SICA-APMA negotiates agreement with Association of Commercial Producers to secure pay for workers during suspension of production

CCOO and UGT and more than 30 stakeholders of the Spanish live performance and music sector issue 52 measures to address impact of COVID-19 

F3C-CFDT demands stronger measures of Fench government to cover all workers in precarious employment in media and entertainment sector during crisis

30 April

Hollywood content producers and unions are working to develop new industry standards to prevent the spread of COVID-19

The Association of Audiovisual Content Ditribution Companies and TV France International are considering measures to support audiovisual distribution

29 April


Ticketmaster Furloughs Hundreds of Employees

BFI launches crisis fund of 2 millon GBP for UK indie films impacted by Covid-19

28 April

FNSAC-CGT demands change in social security for freelance workers and long term measures to support workers amid COVID-19 crisis

Read Wardrobe Costume Craft Janet Cadmus, IATSE talking about mask making and her COVID-19 story

We Are One: A Global Film Festival will feature programming from 20 top film festivals to run from May 29-June 7, 2020

27 April

Read article by Bectu assistant national secretary about the looming catastrophe facing creative industry freelancers

UK creative sector calls for government help after alarming survey

25 April

Lay-offs at MGM and furloughs at United Artists distribution venture

24 April

UK Treasury clarifies furlough conditions after Bectu lobbying

The French state deprives tens of thousands of artists and technicians in the live performance sector of the payment from partial unemployment scheme

Live Nation has started a relief fund for crew members who have lost income as a result of show cancelations

23 April

Teaterforbundet, Sweden negotiates special collective bagaining agreement with producers in response to COVID-19 and secures important deal for film workers

Screen Producers Ireland warns that, without Government intervention, the industry will see a wave of closures

22 April

Bectu concerned about animation and VFX pay cuts

Current production standstill in Canada puts the livelihood of 172,000 workers at risk

Watch webinar panel on addiction in the age of COVID-19 by Hollywood Health in partnership with WGA-East and WGA-West

21 April

Joint letter by US unions and guilds:  a message to the working professionals in the entertainment industry

SINDCINE starts distribution of food packages to union members

SATSAID and Viacom agree on protocol for safe work

20 April

At least one quarter of self-employed not eligible for UK government support scheme

Disney Furloughs Reach 100,000

Netflix, Netherlands Film Fund launch Covid-19 production aid

17 April

DGA sets-up National Board committee, spearheaded by Steven Soderbergh to put together a comprehensive guide on returning to work safely 

Watch MEAACrew member and camera assistant Danielle Payne explaining how difficult it is for those in the screen industry right now, especially young people just starting off their careers

IATSE issues priorities for subsequent COVID-19 relief legislation

SATSAID makes its holiday facility availaible to authorities to house and treat patients suffering from Covid-19

ver.di supports proposals by the economics ministers to mitigate impact of crisis on the self-employed with a flat-rate financial emergency aid

Force Ouvrière calls for extension of the reference period for the calculation of criteria  to access social protection rights as entertainment workers are hit by longer shutdown

Switzerland sets aside 280 million francs for culture

16 April

SINDCINE recommends maintaining the suspension of film productions until the end of social distancing measures

The collecting society of Teaterförbundet pays 9 million Swedish crowns extra to rights holders during COVID-19 crisis

Federal Loans by US government top $8 billion for entertainment, arts, information and recreation Sectors

15 April

German public broadcaster ARD reacts to new collective agreement on short-time work and extends support for film industry

U.K. Coronavirus Film and TV Emergency Relief Fund Opens for Applications

14 April

SATSAID incorporates new health care channels into its social work TV stations, TV Salud

Disney World workers pressuring Florida to fix unemployment system

Netflix donates to Brazil, Mexico industry workers as part of $100m relief fund

Cinemark lays off 17,500 Hourly Workers

13 April

IATSE Local 8 Stagehands load in equipment for temporary hospital in Philadelphia

12 April

Bectu at the heart of the fight for the soul of the creative industries

9 April

SINDCINE urges producers association to work with the union over shortime work and suspension of projects

FNV Media & Cultuur calls on Dutch policmakers to include employees and freelance media and culture workers in COVID-19 relief programme

MEAA continues campaign to save media and entertainment industries as JobKeeper income subsidy scheme leaves out freelance and casual performers and crew

Audiovisual sector in Europe calls for urgent action by EU and Member States to safeguard the future of the sector

British Film Institute outlines $5.7M COVID-19 support measures

8 April

Suvery of TF reveals that many film and theatre workers in Sweden are severely affected by impact of COVID-19

Netflix and Audiens create an emergency support fund for freelance workers ("Intermittents") of audiovsial and cinema sector 

SPIAC-CGT, calls on association of technical service providers, FICAM to active full economic support for all workers in production sector 

7 April

UNI MEI supports the #saveEUculture campaign in response to COVID-19

European Audiovisual Observatory is tracking COVID-19 support measures for the audiovisual sector

Bectu calls for ‘New Deal’ for freelancers and precarious workers in the creative industries

6 April

Studio Babelsberg applies for short-time work, but continues to reject a collective agreement

German film industry calls for creation of “stability fund” to support sector through Covid-19 crisis

BBC reveals five-point plan to support indies

5 April

Women in Film & TV UK survey:  96% of members have lost all their income

Global box office facing estimated $10bn loss 

Disney decision to furlough crew welcomed by Bectu

4 April

Disney plays a bad game with its freelance workers at Disneyland Paris

3 April

Netflix and the Italian Film Commissions launch an emergency COVID-19 fund

Brazilian Senate extends financial support scheme to self-employed and informal workers

SICA-APMA estimates that 4 000 jobs were already lost due to the COVID-19 crisis

German trade union ver.di fights for film workers of legendary Studio Babelsberg

Bectu invites production companies to collaborate to furlough freelance PAYE crew 

2 April

Directors Guild Foundation Launches COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund for Members

Employers, unions, guilds and professional organisations of global film and TV production sector call for urgent action in face of COVID-19 crisis

French film funding agency CNC adopts new emergency measures in support of cinema and audiovisual industries amid the health crisis

Public broadcasters in Germany can do better to support freelance media workers says ver.di

The UK’s PSB broadcasters call on Government to work with them to support freelancers

IATSE Slams Sinclair for Coronavirus Response to Sports Broadcast Freelancers

1 April

EU Commission roposes the new short-time work scheme SURE to help the most affected EU countries

Disney rehires then furloughs ‘The Little Mermaid’ UK crew

Film crew and cinema staff still face crisis after coronavirus shutdown

31 March

IASTE launches mutail aid effort

WGA West Donates $590,000 To The Actors Fund

US theatre owners group teams up on $2.4m relief fund

30 March

MEAA, Australia call on employers in arts, entertainment and media need to re-hire stood down workforce

Hollywood's army of craftspeople take on COVID-19

UK Chancellor's coronavirus bailout ignores many self-employed

29 March

Short-time work based on new collective agreement in German TV production averts redundancies

The social partners of Flanders in Belgium call on minister of culture to take additional measures regarding the COVID-19 crisis

Theater seamstresses, actors mobilize to make protective gear for doctors

Creative Coalition in the Netherlands monitors efficient implementation of measures in support of self-employed

28 March

DGA Statement on Passage of Expanded Coronavirus Relief Legislation Securing Access to Economic Support for Creative Workers

IATSE Stetment:  Congress passes "CARES" Act providing immediate economic relief for entertainment workers

WGAW Statement on CARES Act

27 March

ETUC reveals measures won by unions to protect jobs and wages across Europe

Canadian Heritage Minsiter and IATSE, international and local leaders regarding industry support around COVID-19

Bectu members can’t fall between the cracks of new self-employed support scheme

UK government scheme is step in right direction for freelancers and self-employed says Bectu

Freelancers on the frontline

Cineworld backtracks on staff layoffs after government action

26 March

The Canadian Federal government passes Bill C-13 providing for financial assistance for all workers, including self-employed freelance workers in the entertainment industry

European Film Promotion Convenes ‘Crisis Committee’ to Cope With Coronavirus Disruption

Measures taken by European Film Agencies to mitigate the consequences of the COVID-19 outbreak

BBC pauses plans to cut jobs amid coronavirus outbreak

Germany Has Rolled Out a Staggering €50 Billion Aid Package for Artists and Cultural Businesses

25 March

European Commission approves German direct grant scheme to support small companies and self-employed workers affected by COVID-19

Members of IATSE Local 873 are donating over 12,000 units of unopened masks, gloves, and pieces of personal protective equipment

MEAA writes to the Government urging it unlock the Regional and Small Publishers Jobs and Innovation Package

At a glance: film industry coronavirus creative, social and financial support initiatives

24 March

verd.di Filmunion negotiates first collective agreement on short time work in film & TV production

Head of Bectu says Covid-19 TV and film relief fund welcome, but more must be done

British Film Institute (BFI), Film and TV Charity create Covid-19 emergency relief fund

FNSAC-CGT, France issues information reader for entertainment workers on COVID-19

UNIC urges national governments to support European cinemas

23 March

UK’s ScreenSkills outlines workforce support measures

Largest German region, North Rhine Westphalia is providing five million euros in emergency aid for artists

22 March

SUTEP repudiates crisis management of CinemarkHoyts which threatens workers with dismissals

21 March

French cinema body gets right to collapse release windows

20 March

US Arts, Entertainment, and Media Unions Call on Policymakers to Protect Media Workers in Emergency Relief Packages

Netflix creates $100 million relief fund

France make changes to media windows to help distributors

Interview with General Secretary of SICA-APMA, Argentina on impact of COVID-19 on production workers

IATSE Canada sets up distinct website that puts COVID-19 resources and information in one place

19 March

SATSAID and the Argentine Association of Cable Television sign an agreement in response to Covid-19

MEAA releases guide to members about rights at work during COVID-19 crisis

18 March

US Theater owners urge Congress to move quickly on aid and pleadge  $1 million to movie theater employees

17 March

IATSE commits $2.5 million to entertainment charities amid the COVID-19 crisis

Europe moving to support entertainment industry hit by COVID-19 Crisis

Dutch Film Fund announces measure to temper project-related damage in subsidized film productions

EU funds must reach media and creative sector, say MEPs