Texas entertainment workers rally to push for $600 and pass HEROES Act
Austin, TX – On the morning of September 8, a group of around 100 unemployed artisans, designers, technicians, stagehands and other entertainment industry workers held a protest to push for $600 in unemployment benefits and pass the HEROES Act now. The protest was organized by IATSE Local 484 and Local 205, along with many independent contractors.
Participants gathered at the Paramount Theatre and marched with 60 road cases up to the state capitol building for a rally. Chants included, “Push for 600, HEROES Act now!” and “They say cut back, we say fight back!” The action wrapped up with a march to the Texas AFL-CIO building.
In discussing the demands of the protesters, one of the organizers for the Push for 600 ATX protest, Jennifer Crump, said, “We all need the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance extended and the Heroes Act to be passed because none of us know when it will be safe to work in our industry again. We've bailed out several major corporations including the Airlines industries. We now need to bailout the entertainment industry workers along with all other industry workers that have been displaced by COVID-19.”
Other demands include: Send out a second round of economic stimulus checks, provide government assistance for rent and mortgage payments, extend the eviction moratorium, and increase government funding for the arts and entertainment workers.
The protest was called in light of the Senate’s continual failure to address the needs of working people, as millions remain unemployed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Entertainment workers continue to protest the government’s inaction not only in Texas, but also in other “Push for $600” actions, such as those in Michigan, and across the country.