With the COVID-19 pandemic dominating American society for nearly a year, people need some form of entertainment. Although productions were put on hold in the beginning, industry professionals found a way to allow the show to go on.
SAG-AFTRA President Gabrielle Carteris joined AWF Union Podcast to discuss the merger of two unions, how the pandemic has affected the production industry and those working in it and more.
SAG and AFTRA used to be two separate unions, until their merger in 2012. Carteris said there were some troubles to work through in the early days of the merger.
Despite the issues, the merger was the best route. Having two unions in the same industry meant that a lot of members were crossing over into the work of other unions members. This caused issues with benefits.
How SAG-AFTRA is dealing with COVID-19
She said that the majority of their members wanted to get back to work. In order to do this, strict safety rules would have to be devised, implemented and followed in the workplace.
Before stepping onto a set or into a studio, employees had to submit to testing and other measures. Practice takes were performed with PPE equipment, which was briefly removed for final takes and then reapplied.
Carteris said they have been following the rules closely that they have largely avoided inspections.
Finally, she said they will continue doing everything possible to ensure they can keep working.
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