Your message has been sent.
March 12, 2020
Entertainment unions CWA Canada, IATSE, ACTRA and DGC are
calling on the federal government to extend EI supports to all workers
impacted by the pandemic, including the many workers in our sector who
are not classified as employees. The following letter was just sent to
the Minister of Health and the Minister of Employment, Workforce
Inclusion, Disability Inclusion.
March 12, 2020
The Honourable Patty Hadju
Minister of Health
The Honourable Carla Qualtrough
Minister of Employment, Workforce Inclusion, Disability Inclusion
RE: COVID-19 RESPONSE PACKAGE - CALL TO EXTEND IT TO ALL WORKERS
We are writing on behalf of workers in the entertainment industry who would be left out of the EI supports announced today as part of the COVID-19 response package.
Many in our industry are not classified as employees, and therefore not eligible for EI for any loss of work due to the coronavirus pandemic.
While we are pleased that you indicate income support for those workers will be ‘explored’, we urge you to take precise action in the coming days.
There have already been some cancellations of television productions and there are expected to be more. Production insurance is not covering cancellations related to COVID-19.
Workers who are signed to those shows rely on those contracts which can range from several days to several months. The loss of that expected income would be devastating for many.
This industry is just one of many where workers are not defined as employees under the Canada Labour Code. Your government has often stated that it intends to find ways to improve conditions for people who work in the ‘gig economy’. Extending the $1 billion package for COVID-19 to cover all workers would be a tangible demonstration of that commitment.
President, CWA Canada; on behalf of the Fairness in Factual TV Campaign
Vice President, Canadian Region, IATSE
President, ACTRA National
National Executive Director, DGC