Hollywood Unions, Studios Move to Mandate Coronavirus Booster Shots for Film Crews

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The various unions and studios in Hollywood have agreed to mandate coronavirus booster shots for all vaccinated employees as a condition for employment, according to reports.

The Screen Actors Guild – American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) announced on Wednesday that productions that have required vaccines will require workers to get a booster, as well, The Hill reported.

SAG-AFTRA set a date of April 30 for its 160,000 members to get a booster shot.

The unions and studios also agreed on provisions to provide KN95 or N95 masks on set and to offer upgraded antigen tests. Crews may also take advantage of a ten-day, paid virus sick leave.

The virus had less impact on the industry this winter than in previous years, but delays in filming were still seen for series including the Fox Network’s 9-1-1 and CBS’s NCIS.

Along with SAG-AFTRA, The Directors Guild of America, the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, Teamsters and Basic Crafts unions joined the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers in the wide-ranging agreement.

The agreement comes a little over a year after the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) threatened to stage a strike over what it then called “basic human needs.”

Along with virus mitigation, the IATSE union — which represents 140,000 technicians and artisans throughout the entertainment industry — was concerned about workplace abuses, including elongated hours, reduction in pay, dangerous on-the-job demands, and lack of meal breaks.

The strike was eventually called off when an 11th-hour deal was reached with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, the latter of which represents the studios and other entertainment employers in Hollywood.

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