The Broadway League and the Coalition of Broadway Unions and Guilds—a collective of several unions representing employees of Broadway productions—have reached an agreement that will provide emergency funds and protections for its workers impacted by the coronavirus crisis.
"We are a community that cares about each other, and we are pleased that we can offer some relief," said League President Charlotte St. Martin. "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."
The emergency relief package will ensure that all Broadway employees under COBUG will receive pay for the initial performance week cut short by Governor Andrew Cuomo's mass gathering ban with a cap of 150 percent of the salary minimums as stipulated in union contracts, as well as pay at said salary minimums for the following two weeks, The New York Times reports.
Union employees will keep health insurance through April 12, and discussions between the League and COBUG will resume next month to extend that coverage.
Both the League and the unions have also called on Congress to provide similar relief to entertainment workers, whose livelihoods have been brought to a halt during the collective effort to flatten the curve. "Now Congress must 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," COBUG said in a new statement. Some members of Congress have echoed their plea in a letter addressed to Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi.
Broadway productions are currently slated to stay dark through April 12, though it is possible that the closure will extend with mass gathering mandates and as the situation evolves. This puts many productions, particularly those that have not yet opened, in the position of determining whether it is feasible to continue with their Broadway plans. Hangmen, which began previews February 29, announced earlier this evening that it will not resume performances after the suspension.