Hollywood unions safety protocols, production amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Hollywood unions have reached an agreement with the major studios on protocols to allow the industry to safely restart production amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The agreement was announced Monday, three and a half months after the unions issued their “Safe Way Forward” guidelines on June 12 following a June 1 “white paper” by the Industry-Wide Labor-Management Safety Committee Task Force comprised of the unions and studios.

“Guiding principles include strictly enforced testing regimens and safety protocols, a zone-based system, and diligent use of personal protective equipment,” the unions said. “The new measures will be implemented by employers in order to minimize the risk of transmission. To ensure workers’ livelihoods are not burdened with added uncertainty during the pandemic, the agreement also includes COVID-19 sick leave and quarantine pay.”

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The agreement was signed by the Directors Guild of America, International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Basic Crafts and SAG-AFTRA with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers.

“The health and safety of those who work in the motion picture and television industry is and remains our top priority. To ensure that employers are able to provide a safe and healthful workplace, the industry – including representatives from Amazon, Apple, CBS, Disney, HBO Max, NBC Universal, Netflix, Paramount, Sony and Warner Bros. – undertook four months of thoughtful dialogue and meaningful negotiations with the multi-union bargaining committee,” said AMPTP President Carol Lombardini.

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“We are pleased to announce that this process today culminated in a science-based agreement among the Employers and the multi-union committee on return-to-work protocols for use in the coronavirus era.  The hallmark of the agreement makes employee safety paramount, by introducing protocols for strict testing, cleaning and use of protective equipment,” she continued. “As a consequence of the agreement, the studios will be making a substantial investment in testing, redesigned workplaces, COVID-19 sick leave, quarantine pay and other safeguards designed to facilitate the safe resumption of production and enable the industry to recover and grow.”

“In addition, the employers and the multi-union group have committed to ongoing discussions of these protocols, allowing the parties to examine the efficacy of their efforts as production resumes on a larger scale,” Lombardini concluded. “The AMPTP wishes to express its appreciation not only to the unions, but to the hundreds of others who became involved in the return-to-work effort for their willingness to collaborate to resolve the difficult workplace issues presented by operating in a coronavirus world.”

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Key highlights include mandatory testing regimens under which every member of the cast and crew will be tested before their first day of work to ensure they are not actively infected with the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19. Cast and crew members in the production environment will subsequently undergo a regular testing protocol during the course of their work on the production.

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