Mr. Jeff Massie, my assistant, TAG Recording Secretary and self-styled Lord High Everything Else (an unelected position he holds in his head, and who am I to pull him out of his hallucinations?), returned this afternoon from a confab of IA unions at Local 80 that's offering assistance to members affected by the WGA strike. Here's his report:
There are now several programs for unemployed members of Hollywood labor unions. Some of these programs (but not all) are specific to those who've lost jobs or been laid off because of the WGA strike ...
Labor Community Services AFL-CIO (LCS), the assistance program of the LA County Federation of Labor, will be offering one-time grants to assist with payment of gas and electrical bills. To qualify, applicants will have to be members of a Hollywood labor union, and priority will be given to those unemployed due to the WGA strike.
You must have received a final bill or shut-off notice from SoCal Edison, the Southern California Gas Co. or the DWP. LCS will be opening an office every Friday at the IA Local 80 offices, and an advance appointment will be necessary. Contact IATSE Local 80 at (818) 526-0700 to make an appointment and for further information.
Larry Reed of Los Angeles Neighborhood Housing Services can offer assistance in advising members in danger of foreclosure or eviction.
We all know the Employment Development Department is where you go to apply for unemployment insurance, but they also offer a wide range of services to help with temporary and permanent job placement.
In Los Angeles County, there are thirty-seven One-Stop Career Centers with a wide range of free services such as job services, Unemployment Insurance assistance, vocational education and vocational rehabilitation. Among the local centers are those in Burbank, Canoga Park, Chatsworth, Glendale, Hollywood, Palmdale, Pasadena, Sun Valley and Van Nuys (818-781-2522). For a comprehensive list of One-Stop Career Centers in California, download this PDF file (pages 20 through 28 are Los Angeles County).
Workers on strike aren't entitled to unemployment benefits. But people who lose jobs because of another union's strike (such as Fox Animation or Film Roman/Starz Media employees laid off because of Fox/WGA animated shows getting struck), are entitled to UI.
So, unless you're a striking writer you should NOT tell the EDD that you lost your job because of a strike -- it'll screw up your claim.
I'll post more as resources are developed and expanded; for example, there will soon be a webpage with specific information for union members affected by the WGA strike. Stay tuned ...