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Coalition of Broadway Unions and Guilds Announces Emergency Relief

Unemployed Broadway workers will receive temporary compensation and healthcare as theatrical unions move to mitigate financial losses.

NEW YORK CITY:  The Coalition of Broadway Unions and Guilds (COBUG) has announced an agreement with the Broadway League to provide emergency relief in the form of compensation and healthcare to Broadway employees during the Broadway shutdown. The financial relief will include basic wage supplements to affected workers and additional health contributions.

“The leaders of our industry have been working tirelessly with our partners at the unions to forge an agreement that will address many of the needs of our employees during this crisis,” said Charlotte St. Martin, president of the Broadway League, in a statement. “We are a community that cares about each other, and we are pleased that we can offer some relief. Once we are past this challenging moment, we look forward to welcoming everyone back to our theatres to experience the best of live entertainment together once again.”

According to The New York Times, the agreement will result in workers being paid for the week the Broadway shutdown cut short, as well as the following two weeks. For the shortened week, workers will receive their normal compensation. For the next two weeks, however, workers will receive the contractual minimum, even if they’d typically make more than that. The workers will also receive their full benefits (health, pension, 401(k)) during those two and a half weeks, with only health insurance continuing after that time is up.

The agreement, negotiated jointly by the COBUG unions, also includes the commitment to discuss the possibility of additional health contributions the week of April 6. When Broadway theatres initially shuttered, the hope was that they would be able to reopen by April 13. However, now the Times is reporting that a reopening may not happen until May or June.

Along with this announcement, COBUG also released a joint statement calling on Congress to “do its part for arts and entertainment workers on Broadway and beyond to ensure they have access to unemployment insurance and health care during this industry-wide shutdown.”

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