Volunteer to help IATSE members in need!
The IATSE has launched a website entitled IATSE C.A.R.E.S. (Coronavirus Active Response and Engagement Service). In french, the site is IATSE A.I.D.E. (Assistance des Individus en Difficulté face à l’Épidémie). The website, located at EN: www.iatsecares.org and FR: www.iatsecares.org/francais/, is a new initiative designed to provide support to our most at-risk, elderly, and/or disabled members during the COVID-19 crisis.
April 15, 2020 Update
To all Canadian Members:
The COVID-19 pandemic has led to widespread anxiety among Canadians about their health and economic security. More and more people in this country are facing layoffs, job losses and dwindling job security. Many are turning to credit cards to pay for their basic needs.
Yet in this crisis, credit card interest rates remain sky high, often at about 20% or even higher.
We’re all making sacrifices to get through this difficult time – everyone except Canada’s big banks and credit card companies.
Year after year, the big banks and credit card companies make billions in profits off the backs of working Canadians.
The Bank of Canada has just reduced its lending rate to financial institutions to a historically low level. So the banks and credit card companies are in a great position to step up and provide debt relief for families. Yet they refuse to help people by significantly reducing credit card interest rates.
The Canadian Labour Congress has launched a targeted campaign to tell the big banks and credit card companies they need to do their part to help Canadian families and support our economy in these extraordinary times.
I hope you will join me in signing the petition. We need to make sure the big banks and credit card companies hear our message that they must stop gouging Canadians during this crisis and significantly lower the interest rates on credit cards.
John M. Lewis
International Vice President
Director of Canadian Affairs
March 24, 2020 Update
To our Canadian Members:
The COVID-19 pandemic has put many industries in a difficult position, but the entertainment industry has been hit particularly hard. We have been working around the clock with all levels of government, our fellow unions and guilds, our IATSE local unions, and our employers, to ensure that our members and our industry have every support that we are able to provide. We are having weekly meetings with the leaders of all Canadian film locals and all Canadian stage locals so that we can hear issues arising in specific areas and any concerns that members have raised at the local level. We have also established regular meetings with officials from the Ministry of Canadian Heritage so that the federal government is fully up-to-speed on the situation facing entertainment industry workers.
While the pandemic faced by our American sisters, brothers, and kin is the same, the support systems and governments in our two countries are different. To address this, the International’s Canadian Department has created a distinct website so that Canadian members can find resources and information in one place. The English website can be found at www.iatsecanada.net and the French at www.iatsecanada-fr.net. On it, you will find information about financial support through the AFC, benefit information on our national health and retirement plans, information on available government support benefits, links to the federal and provincial government announcement pages, what the IATSE has been doing, and what you, as a member and entertainment industry worker, can do.
Given the understandable need for members to get information we are launching the site now, but please understand that it is a work in progress. This is an unprecedented situation, and one that is changing daily. The Canadian Department will continue to complete and update the site to ensure it remains current.
Our strength as a union is that we all stand together and support one another. These are challenging times but we will get through them together, because that’s what we do.