LOS ANGELES (Mar. 27, 2020) — SAG-AFTRA applauds Congress for passing the CARES Act today, the bipartisan coronavirus stimulus bill, which, in part, expands key benefits for professionals in the arts, entertainment and media industries during the COVID-19 pandemic. These workers are facing urgent, unique economic challenges during this crisis that were not covered in previous iterations of federal relief bills. The union has worked tirelessly to ensure SAG-AFTRA members are protected during this difficult time.
“I would like to thank members of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives — including the many individual legislators who have advocated for us in Washington, D.C., this past week — for their support of this critical legislation. This emergency stimulus package contains some key elements that will apply to our members, including higher weekly unemployment benefits, extended weeks of unemployment benefits, a one-time check for every American and their children under a certain annual income, and a special Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program for those who are not eligible for unemployment currently, such as independent contractors,” said SAG-AFTRA President Gabrielle Carteris.
“I would also like to thank my fellow SAG-AFTRA members, our sister entertainment industry unions, our industry employers and our industry trade associations for reaching out to their elected officials to ask for economic inclusion. Together, we sent the clear message that the arts and media sector is a vital part of the economy that cannot be left behind when considering relief for workers affected by COVID-19.
“While there is little cause for celebration in these uncertain times, these are real gains for our members who may be suffering, and we are grateful for the added government assistance. We will continue to fight for our members through legislation and other means in every way possible,” Carteris added.
SAG-AFTRA represents approximately 160,000 actors, announcers, broadcast journalists, dancers, DJs, news writers, news editors, program hosts, puppeteers, recording artists, singers, stunt performers, voiceover artists and other entertainment and media professionals. SAG-AFTRA members are the faces and voices that entertain and inform America and the world. A proud affiliate of the AFL-CIO, SAG-AFTRA has national offices in Los Angeles and New York and local offices nationwide representing members working together to secure the strongest protections for entertainment and media artists into the 21st century and beyond. Visit SAG-AFTRA online at sagaftra.org.