Tell Congress to Protect Musicians in Next COVID-19 Bill

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With nearly our entire industry grinded to a halt, musicians and other entertainment workers are being disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. While we are grateful for the measures that have already been passed by Congress to provide much-needed relief to our communities, it is not enough. Even when stay-at-home orders are lifted, there will be needed safety restrictions and limitations on mass gatherings for an extended period of time to mitigate further spread of the virus, leaving musicians and other entertainment workers without planned wages and benefits indefinitely.

As Congress pursues the next federal response to this crisis, we demand that any COVID-19 legislation include relief measures that protect entertainment workers throughout the duration of this health crisis.

  • Protect Our Healthcare: We continue our demand that Congress include a 100% COBRA premium subsidy to ensure workers and their families can afford to stay on their job-based health coverage plans.

  • Keep Workers on Unemployment Through the Crisis: Not only must the unemployment measures enacted in the first CARES Act be extended throughout the remainder of the crisis, but individual states must ramp up their unemployment claim processing to keep up with the high demand at this unprecedented time.

  • Protect Our Pensions: As the crisis hits already-troubled pension funds like the AFM-EPF, Congress must act now to protect the retirement of millions of participants in multiemployer pensions and shore up the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC). We’re calling on Congress to support rehabilitation for multiemployer pensions.

  • Allow Labor Unions Access to the Paycheck Protection Program: All nonprofits, including unions, must have fair access to the government economic support other businesses have received. This will allow us to support union staff working through the pandemic to provide vital assistance to our members.

  • Update the Qualified Performing Artist Tax Deduction: Out of work for months, creative professionals need the ability to deduct necessary business expenses from our taxes.

  • Protect Arts Workers When We Reopen: We demand that organizations in the arts, entertainment, and media industries be incentivized to protect arts workers when they reopen, by providing direct economic support to workplaces that enact and enforce appropriate workforce restoration requirements. We must ensure that musicians and other entertainment workers are called back to work only when it’s safe to do so.

Local 802 musicians and our fellow entertainment workers look forward to the day when our workplaces can reopen and when we can return to doing what we do best: making music and bringing joy to live audiences. The only way this will be possible is if our community is adequately supported while theaters and venues remain closed.

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New York, NY