IATSE Offers to Convert Venues Into Vaccination Sites Around the Country

Industry News   IATSE Offers to Convert Venues Into Vaccination Sites Around the Country
The labor union previously built field hospitals in cities grappling with the COVID-19 crisis.

The International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees has sent a letter to President Joseph Biden offering its services to the White House and the Federal Emergency Management Agency to build vaccination sites—or convert pre-existing venues—across the country.

In a letter dated January 25, IATSE International President Matthew D. Loeb writes, "We are the largest labor union in America representing stagehands, certified riggers, and other craftspeople who work behind-the-scenes in conference centers, arenas, theatres, 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."

The letter follows a January 12 tweet from the union, which offered a simplified version of its pitch to simultaneously combat the pandemic and provide employment for its members.

In April, union members helped convert numerous facilities around the country into field hospitals to help the burgeoning COVID-19 crisis.

Loeb adds, "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."

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