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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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