We want to thank the over 600 Members that joined us on our first-ever digital Local 399 Townhall. We will be looking to further develop this digital meeting platform in the future and plan to host more meetings soon. The number one question submitted by Members leading up to the event was ‘when are we going back to work?’. We understand our Members concerns as we navigate an uncertain future. Rest assured, we are doing all we can to help our Members get back to work as soon and as safely as possible. Although we do not know a specific date of that return, we are hopeful that it will be over the course of the summer, perhaps as early as prepping in June or July, however nothing has been confirmed at this time. We will be fighting and advocating alongside our Membership every step of the way until we get there.
Below is a recap of this week’s efforts in case you missed anything, as well as a reminder of important ongoing resources and information.
LOCAL 399 DIGITAL TOWNHALL RECAP:
For those of you unable to attend the Local 399 Digital Townhall, below we have shared a recap addressing just some of the topics discussed. Click on the button below to review all major topics discussed. We covered a lot of information in our presentation so if you would like more information on a specific topic, we encourage you to reach out to your Business Agent directly.
MPIPHP HARDSHIP WITHDRAWAL:
The online application process to receive an MPI Hardship Withdrawal from Members MPI retirement accounts (IAP) was launched on Friday, May 1st running through the end of July, 2020. When Congress passed the CARES ACT, they temporally removed the penalty for early withdrawal on your retirement accounts. The Local is advising against taking Hardship Withdrawals unless absolutely necessary. We want to encourage all Members to talk to your creditors and see if they can get a deferment of payments until the COVID-19 crisis is over before withdrawing from their retirement accounts.
Participants in MPI can take up to 20% of their IAP’s 2018 balance, not to exceed $20k before taxes. MPI will withhold taxes for you above and beyond the amount requested if you would like them to. You can choose to pay back the amount you withdraw from your IAP if you want or you can choose not to pay it back.
There are several reasons why the Local believes it’s a bad idea to withdraw from your retirement:
1. If you are planning on paying it back and you believe the economy will be better in 3 years than it is now, you are essentially selling low and buying high.
2. The money you take out now will not get the growth of the next 3 years.
3. If you don’t pay it back, you will have to pay taxes on it as income. You will have 3 years to put the money back in or pay the taxes.
In order to apply you must have an online account at www.mpiphp.org.
Click here to read the MPI IAP Hardship Withdrawal Program FAQ here.
Anyone who wants to take advantage of the Hardship Withdrawal Program needs to first make sure they have their online account set up at www.mpiphp.org. If you have any questions about this program, please contact Business Agent Joshua Staheli at: Jstaheli@ht399.org.
EDD WEBINAR NOTES:
We recently received the approved notes from the EDD Webinar that was organized by the Entertainment Union Coalition and hosted by the Los Angeles Federation of Labor a couple weeks ago.
Below is a great chart to help outline California UI Benefits available at this time. If you have any questions or are still experiencing issues applying for UI benefits, please reach out to your Business Agent directly.
TAKE ACTION: SIGN THE PETITION:
The IATSE launched a petition this week identifying top priorities for Entertainment Workers in Subsequent COVID-19 Legislation. Congress has begun to pursue additional federal legislation in response to the coronavirus pandemic. The entertainment industry will continue to be disproportionately impacted by this health crisis and we need to ensure that that subsequent COVID-19 legislation includes entertainment Industry workers as well. We must act now and urge our representatives to include our priorities.
TEAMSTERS MOTION PICTURE & THEATRICAL DIVISION UPDATE:
The following is an update from Motion Picture and Theatrical Trades Division Director Tom O’Donnell on the current state of the division and the efforts by the Union to help its members through this difficult time. Click here to read the report that was recently shared that highlight the efforts of the IBT to support our Union Brothers and Sisters in our division.
IMMEDIATE FINANCIAL RELIEF:
If you and your family are in need of immediate financial assistance, don’t wait. Call the Motion Television Fund or the Actors Fund Today.
MOTION PICTURE TELEVISION FUND:
MPTF Intake Line: 323-634-3888
Call today. You will be assigned a MPTF case manager to walk through your specific and immediate needs. MPTF has been serving workers in the Motion Picture Industry since 1921. Take time to reach out if you need immediate financial help.
THE ACTORS FUND:
Actors Fund Today: 888.825.0911.
Call today. The Actors Fund, established in 1882, is for all workers in the Entertainment Industry. Take time to reach out if you need immediate financial help or services.
Learn more about the services and programs here: actorsfund.org/am-i-eligible-help
OPTUM & KAISER CRISIS HOTLINES:
Your well-being matters MOST. As this difficult situation continues and no matter how isolated you may feel, you do not need to face these challenges alone. There is hope. Powerful health resources and personalized support services are available right now. Live and Work Well is here to help you and those you care about find the balance, support and care you need to live the healthiest life possible.
OPTUM CRISIS HOTLINE: 1-800-273-8255
KAISER EMOTIONAL SUPPORT HOTLINE: (800) 900-3277
If an emergency, or you think you may harm yourself, please call 911.
Thank you for your support over the past several weeks. Please let us know if there is anything more we can be doing to support you and your family at this time.