479 NEWS

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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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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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.

Member Dashboard is Back Up

Member Dashboard Now Online

Local 479’s Member Dashboard returned to service over the weekend following the implementation of important updates to web components of the member database.  Many thanks to our members for your patience as our team has worked to install and de-bug updates to this important member tool.  While a few of the improvements have yet to be released, we have launched the website early (with limitations) because of the looming deadline of November 30th for members to make sure they have a $0.00 balance in order to qualify for the (more…)

Local 479 Welcomes Comptroller Jimmy Butts

Jimmy Butts, Comptroller, IATSE Local 479

This month Local 479 welcomes its new financial comptroller, Jimmy Butts. As our Secretary/Treasurer position begins its transition from full-time to “as needed” (in effect part-time), Jimmy will assume management of the Local’s day-to-day financial obligations, serving as its formal accountant. He will help to manage the Local’s investment accounts, oversee compliance with all federal and state entities, and perform the Local’s tax and Department of (more…)

Observant Medic Helps Crewperson Get Life-Saving Surgery

Last week Set Medic Teresa Hardie was approached by a crewmember complaining of localized discomfort. The symptoms were significant enough to prompt Teresa, a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN), to urge the crewmember to go to the hospital. While the crewmember was at first reluctant to leave set, Teresa was doggedly persistent and eventually convinced them to take her advice.

This insistence undoubtedly saved the crewperson’s life, because once at the hospital it was confirmed that the patient was in peril, and surgeons moved quickly to (more…)

Piedmont Healthcare Back In-Network

Contract Signed Blue Cross Blue Shield Piedmont

The National Benefits Fund has confirmed that Empire Blue Cross and Blue Shield reached a new multi-year agreement with Piedmont Healthcare, Inc. and Piedmont Clinic Physician Practices (collectively “Piedmont”). This new agreement will enable our members to continue to (more…)

BlueCross BlueShield Contract Expiration with Piedmont Healthcare

Contract Expiration between Blue Cross Blue Shield and Piedmont Healthcare

If you are a member of IATSE Local 479 and participate in any of the National Benefits Fund Plan C Health Insurance Plans, then you are a BlueCross BlueShield customer, and you should read the following message very carefully:

At midnight on March 31, the contract between BlueCross BlueShield and Piedmont Healthcare officially expired.

Contracts expiring between health insurance providers and health care facilities are routine, and in most cases it is expected that an agreement will be reached before the expiration date. This time, however, an agreement was not reached, and those of us with BlueCross BlueShield health insurance are now going to be considered OUT OF NETWORK at all Piedmont Healthcare (more…)

Faced with Life or Death on Set: When Seconds Count

A film set.

It was a typical late June afternoon in Riverchase, a bustling community in the Birmingham suburb of Hoover. With temperatures climbing steadily toward the nineties, traces of future storm clouds began to dot the far horizon.

A group of trucks were parked just outside the Rooms To Go store on Chapel Lane and a steady stream of people had been ferrying equipment in and out of the building all morning long, the telltale indication of an active commercial shoot.

A number of the shooting crew from Atlanta had arrived in town the previous night and the Key Grip, Roger Sherer, was animatedly telling his friends about a local restaurant he’d found that featured great food and live music. A musician himself, Roger wanted to get a group together and (more…)