IATSE Offers Labor and Infrastructure to White House COVID Response Team to Build Field Vaccination Sites
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW Washington, DC 20500
Dear Mr. President:
January 25, 2021
This letter is to formally offer the White House COVID Response Team and FEMA our infrastructure and labor in the effort to build or convert vaccinations sites across the country.
As the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE), we are the largest labor union in America representing stagehands, certified riggers, and other craftspeople who work behind-the-scenes in conference centers, arenas, theaters, and other live events venues. As you know, these workers have been unable to return to work due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but they stand ready to do their part when they are called upon.
IATSE workers throughout the country have been working alongside the Army Corps of Engineers and FEMA in arenas and convention centers for years in disaster response situations, and in April we helped convert numerous facilities into field hospitals in response to the COVID-19 crisis. The skills required to convert these facilities are not much different than those required to load in rock and roll concerts and other live events.
Working with the field hospital installations designed by the Army Corps of Engineers, the IATSE and its contractors can typically pre-install the rigging, lights, and electric, quickly and efficiently. IATSE Locals throughout the country have even developed a series of pre-designed rigs to allow variations based on venue size. The equipment can be power washed, sanitized, shrink-wrapped, and can be delivered to locations for installation.
Together, we have a unique opportunity not only to help beat this virus and save lives, but also to get these skilled union technicians back to work. Let’s build back better, together.
Matthew D. Loeb
IATSE, International President
The International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees or IATSE (full name: International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, Moving Picture Technicians, Artists and Allied Crafts of the United States, Its Territories and Canada), is a labor union representing over 150,000 technicians, artisans and craftspersons in the entertainment industry, including live theatre, motion picture and television production, broadcast, and trade shows in the United States and Canada.