479 NEWS

Members Build Emergency Covid-19 Hospitals

A group of members from IATSE Local 479 were part of a team hired to build two emergency hospitals to help Georgians in the height of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Many people living in Georgia’s rural counties lack access to comprehensive medical services, relying instead on regional hubs to fill that need. An early outbreak of Covid-19 in Albany propelled that region’s death rate to the same levels as Italy and New York City, demonstrating Georgia’s need for additional facilities for rural outbreaks.

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A Statement from President Brown Regarding Recent Events

Sisters and Brothers of Local 479,

After several conversations with members and a meeting yesterday with fellow Presidents of IATSE locals throughout the United States and Canada, I feel compelled now more than ever to communicate our position on the recent events in our city and throughout the country. 

The video that surfaced recently showing the grotesque and senseless killing of Mr. George Floyd has ignited our country resulting in protests around the world. I, as your President, have participated along with members of my family, in peaceful protests in and around Atlanta. I walked side by side with people of all color from IATSE Local 479 and Atlanta Teamsters Local 728, out of respect for the families of George Floyd and all those before him, to protest the violence that took these individuals from us.

The idea that all people are created equal and deserve to be treated with respect, dignity and fairness is at the very core of the labor movement. It was, in fact, the labor movement that literally locked arms with Dr. King during the civil rights movement, because we stood for the exact same principles. Dr. King professed and said in his own words “The labor movement was the principle force that transformed misery and despair into hope and progress.” So yes, when our Sisters and Brothers of color suffer, we all in the labor movement suffer.  We are suffering now.

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EP Cease Filing for Members

Entertainment Partners has ceased filing unemployment for our members which should resolve some of the worst problems in filing unemployment claims

Today we confirmed with the GDOL that they have released a new program called the “Claims Conversion Program” which allows employers that have been filing weekly UI claims on behalf of employees to convert those claims over to an individual claim to allow the individual to certify their own weekly claim.

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Member Spotlight: Glenn Peison and Kazz Walding Helping Fellow Members Navigate GDOL Unemployment Claims Process

Several weeks ago Local 479 member Glenn Peison set up a Facebook group called Atlanta Art Department: Covid-19.  His original intention for the group was to serve as a resource for people to share and discuss the latest health and safety information pertaining to the emerging pandemic. 

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Member Helps Fellow Medics Deploy to Fight Covid-19

It’s a typical Pandemic Wednesday for Elizabeth Cuvar as she drives south of Atlanta on Interstate 75 to pick up supplies for her job.  In the days before anyone had heard of Covid-19 Elizabeth worked as a medic in Georgia’s thriving film and television industry. Her resume included a variety of Marvel films, several television series, and a recurring stint as an instructor at IATSE Local 479’s training facility, where she trained her fellow members to become certified at performing CPR.
 
Today she is stopping by her union hall to pick up CPR training mannequins to take them on a field trip up to Atlanta, because these days Elizabeth is on the front line, working to save Georgians who have Covid-19.

IATSE Local 479’s offices are near Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport.

In between film projects Elizabeth has been working as a first responder with FEMA and Homeland Security. She was recently called up when the Federal government began activating its nationwide emergency response teams for Covid-19.


Opportunity for Local 479 Medics
Knowing that her fellow medics in Local 479 had been sitting idle (like everyone else in the film industry sidelined by the Covid pandemic) Elizabeth has been reaching out to notify them of this opportunity.

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Member Highlight: Stephanie Morales’ Crew Feeding First Responders

In mid-March of this year productions across the country were suspended in response to the Covid-19 outbreak.  As film workers everywhere went home to shelter in place we all realized that our industry might be facing an extended period without employment; no one knew what to expect next.

Local 479 member  and long-time Craft Services Key, Stephanie Morales, soon grew restless at home, feeling that there ought to be something that she could be doing to assist her community in the midst of this crisis.  One day she realized that she still had her Local 479 Vacation check in her wallet and thought to herself, “I’ve got to do something!”

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Doug Collins Requests Financial Relief for Georgia’s Film Industry

US Representative Doug Collins Advocates for Georgia Film Industry

United States Representative Doug Collins has written a letter of support for our industry to the Speaker of the House, encouraging Congress to pursue financial relief for entertainment workers affected by the pause in production due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Freelancers, contractors, gig workers and the entertainment industry make significant contributions to our communities and economy here in Georgia. As Congress considers relief for American workers, I’m hopeful these folks will be offered similar protections as other industries.”

Doug Collins, United States House of Representatives

As the International IATSE notes, Doug has been a champion for the entertainment industry in Georgia, and we thank him for joining the dozens of congresspeople on both sides of the aisle fighting to make sure congress doesn’t leave IATSE members behind.

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President Brown: IATSE Local 479 Acts to Assist Members During COVID-19 Crisis

Sisters and Brothers of Local 479,

As I write you today it is clear that we have found ourselves in a sudden and unpredictable landscape. The uncertainty that surrounds the COVID-19 virus has impacted our industry unlike anything we have ever experienced. Yesterday Vice President Norris, Business Representative Akins and I participated in a conference call with International President Loeb, Vice President and Director of Motion Picture and Television Michael Miller, along with other officers of IATSE Locals across the US, Puerto Rico and Canada. Our conversations continued today with Assistant Department Director of Motion Picture and Television Dan Mahoney. This situation is evolving by the hour and we have more questions than answers right now. Despite the uncertainty our industry faces, we must move forward with efforts to ease the burden this will create for our members.

Last night I called an emergency meeting of the Local 479 Executive Board. Due to the unprecedented work stoppage and the uncertain amount of time the industry will be down, the following motions were presented, discussed, voted on and adopted:

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Coronavirus Updates for Members

We have created a post on the Member Dashboard containing all the latest information about COVID-19, including an updated list of show statuses, the latest news from IATSE International, news from the National Benefits Fund, statements from studios regarding COVID-19, and current Public Health notifications about testing and treatment for COVID-19.

Note that you must log in to access this information.

Office Closed to Walk-in Traffic

The Local 479 offices are closed to all walk-in traffic.  The office staff are working remotely and remain available by phone and email to assist members during normal business hours at (404) 361-5676.

We want to reassure our membership that the local will continue to be available to answer your questions and assist you in all of the same ways.  Please do not travel to the hall for assistance; instead contact the office by phone or email and we will be glad to help you.

Call us at (404) 361-5676

During this time, we ask that anyone wishing to submit an application to join the local do so by emailing their completed, signed application documents to office@iatse479.org.  Upon receipt of your application submission, you will be contacted by phone to collect application fees and answer questions.

All training classes scheduled to take place at the Local 479 hall between 3/16/2020 – 3/27/2020 will be postponed to a future date.  If you are signed up for a class that was originally scheduled during this time, you will be contacted by the local via email with more information.