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 Wednesday, March 25, 2020, 10:23 AM
Subject Line- Tell Congress to Support Artists During the Crisis!
Dear Local 802 Members,
The officers and Executive Board voted unanimously yesterday morning to support this industry wide petition and bring it to your attention. A coalition of artist organizations approached Local 802 and asked for our help to inform Congress that the stimulus package they are about to vote on should include unemployment benefits for those of our brothers and sisters that are categorized as independent contractors and will not have access to any form of unemployment benefit or sick pay.
The good news is that, as of this morning, the stimulus package includes “a new pandemic unemployment assistance program, which would provide jobless benefits to independent contractors, gig economy workers, and the self-employed, who typically don’t qualify for such assistance.” (Read more here.)
Let’s keep the pressure on and make sure this version of the bill, which protects the most vulnerable in our community, is passed and signed into law.
Here is the letter they are sending to members of the House and Senate:
We are music professionals: Union and non-union; DJ’s and instrumentalists; established artists and emerging talents that perform in all genres across the music industry. We join together now to ask your help so that our working communities can economically survive the COVID-19 crisis. Most of us earn our living from touring and live performance and have just seen over 2-3 months of work cancelled without warning. This could potentially be much more as bookings often take months to reschedule.
The COVID-19 crisis has affected everyone; but those of us categorized as self-employed or independent contractors, and thus unable to access unemployment benefits, are particularly vulnerable. Tens of thousands are now without work, have no possibility of finding work, or access to any form of unemployment benefit or sick pay.
We join Local 802 AFM, IATSE, SAG-AFTRA, and the Freelancers Union in calling for an increase and expansion of unemployment to all workers. We ask for your help to ensure that the next Federal relief package includes the extension of unemployment and other benefits to all musicians, DJ’s, and all gig economy workers who have lost their income due to COVID-19. We also ask that workers be able to use any income–including 1099 earnings and demonstrable anticipated future income wiped out by COVID-19–to apply for unemployment and other benefits.
Please sign and help make sure no artist is left behind in this crisis.
The Local 802 AFM Officers and Executive Board