Stagehands protest, ask Ducey to allow events in Arizona again

Many people in the state of Arizona who are apart of the event industry still haven't been able to return to work during the COVID-19 pandemic.

On Sept. 25, stagehands held a protest hoping Governor Doug Ducey will allow events in the state again.

In downtown Phoenix, a number of road cases were gathered. They're a symbol of the event industry and how stagehands get their equipment from one gig to the next.

"We have been writing letters for months and getting canned responses. They need to see us," said Jason Romero.

But these cases haven't been used for months, so stagehands brought them for all to see in an effort to send a message to Governor Ducey.

"I want to come back to work. I have been doing this 34 years, and I love doing it," said Dena Hennessy, a stagehand at the Phoenix Convention Center.

And it hasn't been easy. Many stagehands haven't been working since March and have had to find new jobs to keep their families afloat.

However, it's still not enough.

"I'm at Amazon now and I make $14 less than I did as a steward with the union," Romero said.

"We have a lot of people going to the food bank to get food. A lot of our union members can't afford it," Hennessy said.

The union members say there are ways to allow events safely with proper guidelines.

"There is no reason we can't do something small here in Arizona to get something started, to keep [these] businesses alive."

The stagehands hope a decision and a plan will be made soon, otherwise, they fear for the future of their families and their industry.

"What I hope comes is that we can get over this, that we can go safely back to work," Hennessy said.

FOX 10 reached out to the governor's office for comment, but haven't received word back.