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HOME  > Past issues  > 2020 April 22 - May 12  > Motion picture workers demand government support for their economic distress caused by coronavirus outbreak
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2020 April 22 - May 12 [LABOR]

Motion picture workers demand government support for their economic distress caused by coronavirus outbreak

April 28, 2020
The Professional Motion Picture Workers Association Japan (Eishokuren) on April 21 submitted to the government a written request demanding a compensation program for people who are suffering severe economic damage because they are forced to suspend their film/video production activities due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Eishokuren has a membership of 2,500 and consists of eight cooperatives of film directors, cinematographers, lighting staff, recording engineers, art directors, film editors, script writers, and scenario writers.

The petition points out that amid the coronavirus epidemic, in the movie, TV, and video production industry, projects and schedules of filming have been either suspended or cancelled. It points out that people in this industry are experiencing breaches of contracts and unable to receive guaranteed payments. The petition stresses that many in the industry work freelance, and that the very foundation of their livelihoods is being undermined.

The petition states that other developed countries already provide financial support to freelance workers who are adversely affected by the coronavirus crisis while Japan has yet to take any action in this regard. It urges the Abe government to immediately create a compensation program for those in the motion picture and video production industry as well as for freelance workers in other industries.

The Japanese Communist Party proposes to include an economic support measure for freelance workers in the government supplementary draft budget on which the Diet started discussions on April 27. The JCP in its proposal demands that the government implement measures so that self-employed and freelance workers will be able to receive 80% of what they earned before the coronavirus crisis with a government subsidy. The JCP also underscores the need to compensate event organizers who had to cancel or postpone their events due to government request.
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