During the COVID-19 outbreak, we are posting every all-member email regarding the crisis to the site to ensure all 802 members see these communications. Please note, to avoid redundancy, we stripped the parts of these emails that remind members to check this very page for updates.
Email sent Monday, March 23, 2020, 4:57 PM
Subject Line- A Message of Solidarity from President Adam Krauthamer
There are no words to describe the evolving crisis that all of us are experiencing right now. The pain and confusion are possibly at the highest level that many of us have ever felt, and I don’t have to list all the many ways our lives are changed for the moment. I think the most useful approach is to focus on the positive things that we can do for each other as a union and as fellow musicians. I also want us to stay focused on the big picture and have hope for the future.
First, be advised that the Local 802 building is closed until further notice, in compliance with Governor Cuomo’s stay-at-home order that went into effect on March 22, 2020 at 8 PM. However, your business representatives continue to be available to you remotely during Local 802’s business hours of Monday through Friday, 9:30 AM – 5:30 PM, to answer any contract questions. Find the staff directory here to email and/or call individual business reps.
If you’re a member who works on Broadway, check the “COVID-19 Broadway Updates” button in the member portal at info.local802afm.org for the most recent bargaining unit updates.
ACTIONS YOU CAN TAKE FROM HOME RIGHT NOW
As bad as this situation is, remember that everyone is in the same boat. We all want the coronavirus to be eradicated, to get back to work, and get kids back in school. As a society, we have enough people power to demand relief from our elected officials, and they realize that. We must use this collective power with one voice to call on every level of government to support.
- Click here to write your representatives and demand relief for musicians and other entertainment workers. Our allies at IATSE and Actors’ Equity also have letters you can sign and share.
- Call your representatives at 202-224-3121 and ask them to ensure that entertainment workers, including anyone who relies on contract work, tipped jobs, or freelance gigs, are included in any government relief bill for workers impacted by the coronavirus outbreak.
- Take the NYC Office of Nightlife COVID-19 impact survey before it closes on Friday, March 27! The feedback the Office of Nightlife receives from musicians and other nightlife workers will be shared with city, state, and federal governments to help inform policy decisions.
- Sign the League of American Orchestras petition demanding relief for nonprofit orchestras and musicians impacted by COVID-19.
- Use this unexpected free time to respond to the U.S. Census online or by phone! Union members know how important getting counted is for our communities. Get counted by going to laborcounts2020.org and entering your contact info – it will take you straight to the Census form! Already counted? Fill out the form at http://bit.ly/LaborImCounted
A MESSAGE FROM PRESIDENT ADAM KRAUTHAMER
STAY AT HOME – FLATTEN THE CURVE!
I’d like to focus on the big picture for a moment. As painful as our situation is for our jobs, please remember experts have said that more than two million Americans are literally at risk of dying if we don’t contain the coronavirus. Another report said that New York doesn’t own enough ventilators if thousands of people were to be admitted to area hospitals. We’re being asked to think not just about our own health, but also about the most vulnerable in society, including older people: our parents, grandparents, and elders. It is now clear that younger people are vulnerable too. Our job is to “flatten the curve,” to limit the exponential growth of the virus — and the stakes are literally life or death.
Here’s another thing to think about. Many musicians live on the margin to begin with, but there’s always someone who’s in a worse situation. As anxious as we are right now, let’s also try to keep in mind the things that we can be grateful for in this moment. One thing that I am grateful for is the outpouring of support from our own community for the Local 802 Musicians’ Emergency Relief Fund. Please click here to donate. Since the 802 office is closed until further notice, we strongly encourage donating online. If you can’t donate, you can still help spread the word by sharing our posts on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.
I would also like to thank the many workers who are on the front lines and who are exposing themselves so that society can continue. I’m thinking not just of health care workers but also those who work in grocery stories, pharmacies, gas stations, public transportation, and other places deemed essential services.
We know in reality that this crisis won’t last forever. Scientists are working on treatments and early vaccines right now. As I write these words, new coronavirus cases in certain hotspots around the world are already decreasing. There will be a time when we’ll be able to look back on this. The question will be, can we learn from this experience so that we’re better prepared as a society (or as a union) next time? What can we do better?
I want to encourage all of us to keep up our mental, physical, musical, and spiritual practices. Please remember to reach out to each other, especially to those musicians who you know are more isolated. On social media, there are hundreds of opportunities to connect with fellow musicians. There are ways to give and take lessons and classes via platforms like Skype and Zoom. There are places to share financial tips, life hacks, and even job opportunities.
Local 802 will continue to be your ally during this crisis. Although our building is now closed due to the stay-at-home order and will remain closed for the foreseeable future, we are open for the limited business we can process remotely and are working around the clock to be the best advocate possible under these circumstances. You can always reach me personally at (212) 245-4802, ext. 100 or use our website or Facebook page to reach us quickly.
Even as the coronavirus crisis consumes our lives, there will be light at the end of the tunnel and Local 802 is continuing to work on current projects so that when the crisis passes, we are strategically ahead of the curve. Please hang in there, stay focused on what is really important, hug your loved ones, and we will get through this together. Most of all stay hopeful! Having hope gives us all the courage to survive any hardship and musicians are survivors.
President Adam Krauthamer