IATSE plan to assist in building COVID Vaccination sites

January 21, 2021



Today, President Joe Biden released a national COVID response strategy and issued several executive orders to address the COVID public health crisis.


In the plan is a call for the federal government to work with a variety of institutions, including unions, and create as many venues as needed for people to be vaccinated, including stadiums and conference centers.


The IATSE is uniquely positioned to lead the labor movement in the national vaccination efforts, and in doing so we can put some of our members back to work in the process.


Therefore, today we also advised IATSE Stagecraft Locals to coordinate with employers and lobby their State and Local Governments to turn IATSE venues into COVID-19 vaccination sites and/or field hospitals.


IATSE workers throughout the country have been working with the Army Corps of Engineers and FEMA in arenas and convention centers, and in April we helped convert numerous facilities into field hospitals in response to the COVID-19 crisis. IATSE Local Unions also partnered with Live Events Industry employers, many of whom manage the facilities we propose are converted. Together, we’ve designed a package that can reliably deliver all essential utilities like lighting, power, and oxygen and enhance the overall efficiency of field operations in these converted facilities.


The skills required to convert these facilities are not much different than those required to load in rock and roll concerts and other live events. Working with the field hospital installations designed by the Army Corps of Engineers, the IATSE and its contractors can typically pre-install the rigging, lights and video within a twelve-hour period depending on the size and logistics of the space. IATSE Locals throughout the country have even developed a series of pre-designed rigs to allow variations based on venue size. The equipment is power washed, sanitized, shrink-wrapped, and can be delivered to locations for installation.


Additionally, we wanted to point out that President Biden’s Executive order titled “Reimburse States So They Can Deploy the Emergency Personnel and Supplies Americans Need” includes a provision that the Federal Government will reimburse 100% of States’ costs for “personnel and equipment needed to create vaccination centers.”


Together, we have a unique opportunity not only to help beat this virus and save lives in this time of crisis, but also to get these skilled technicians back to work and create jobs in our community.


We are formally offering to collaborate with the White House in setting up these vaccination sites. Let's do this.




IATSE Facebook post dated 1/21/21