Equity calls for worker support package as government announces "Plan B"

Equity General Secretary Paul W Fleming has called on the government to provide a support package to Equity members and theatres as they face "an uncertain winter". The call comes following the government's announcement of "Plan B" COVID restrictions that could affect theatres' and entertainers' income this Christmas season. 

Paul W Fleming says:

“Since the beginning of the pandemic the government has been reluctant to accept that a strong intervention against COVID-19 means strong support for working people and the economy. Today’s 'Plan B' announcement is perhaps the most shocking example of this negligence.

Tonight should have included a package of support for Equity members who face an uncertain winter with new harsh isolation rules. It should have included a package of support for theatres, reliant on a strong Christmas season, whose audiences will be affected by working from home and the return of a pingdemic. Sector-specific support must now come, support which focuses on the workforce first, and not bosses and buildings.

It is a cruel irony that many of Equity’s entertainer members rely on Christmas parties for significant income. We fear that these events could now be cancelled on the back of an announcement designed to distract from the Prime Minister’s failure to cancel a Christmas party twelve months ago.”