Friday, November 09, 2007

A Broadway Stagehands Strike Appears Imminent

A Broadway Stagehands Strike Appears Imminent

If you're holding a ticket over the next week for a Broadway show currently playing at a theatre owned by either the Shubert and Jujamcyn organizations, you'd better keep close tabs on whether your show will go on.

UPDATE (November 9, 11:51 am EST): According to Playbill, "Hershel Waxman, Vice President of Labor Relations of the Nederlander Organization, sent a hand-delivered letter to Local One President James Claffey Jr., a document that was released by the League Oct. 26.
In the letter, which is dated Oct. 19, Waxman says, 'Should Local One engage in a strike against the League, it would be in Nederlander's best interest to lock out the Local One bargaining unit so that the entire theatre industry achieves the best possible terms in any new agreement with Local One.'" So if you're holding theatre tickets to one of the Nederlander's nine theatres, it looks like you better keep tabs on this as well.

It may already be a fait accompli that in their ongoing labor dispute with The League of American Theatres and Producers, Local One of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (I.A.T.S.E.) will go on strike.

According to New York Post's Michael Riedel, the stagehands strike could begin as early as tonight since their union provided the necessary final authorization last evening for them to move forward. Riedel reports:

Union leaders were discussing last night whether to strike before the weekend or wait until Tuesday, out of fairness to ticket holders, union officials said.

The union rejected the producers' offer to negotiate this morning -- and a strike now appears to be a certainty, sources said.

Tom Short, head of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, entered the heated talks Wednesday in a bid to resolve the dispute.

But the stagehands and producers -- who resumed talks this week after a month away from the bargaining table -- made no progress.

There were "a lot of 'f--- yous' " flying back and forth, a source close to the talks said.

That certainly doesn't bode well for the next week on the Great White Way for any theatregoer, and with Short already departed for Los Angeles (there's another strike taking place there and in New York with screenwriters), a Broadway strike is likely....but I'm hoping it will be over before the Thanksgiving holiday when so many audience members are traveling to New York specifically to see a Broadway show.

I just wonder if Mayor Michael Bloomberg is standing by ready to intervene.

For a list of theatres that would not be impacted by a strike, click here.

This is Steve On Broadway (SOB).

Related Stories:
Roll Up Your Sleeves And Get To Work! (November 7, 2007)
Now That The Union Has Spoken... (October 22, 2007)
It's Unanimous! (October 20, 2007)
D-Day Indeed (October 21, 2007)
$5 Million Per Day (October 19, 2007)
Nederlanders: On Their Own Again? (October 18, 2007)
The Broadway Theatres Not Impacted By Labor Dispute (October 17, 2007)
Bloomberg Appears Ready To Step Into Fray (October 16, 2007)
If You're Holding Tix For Broadway This Week, You're Safe (October 15, 2007)
Stagehands To Vote On Strike...October 21 (October 12, 2007)
The Shows Must Go On...At Least Over Weekend (October 12, 2007)
Still No Lockout (October 12, 2007)
No Lockout Tonight (October 11, 2007)
Lockout Likely (October 10, 2007)
Is This The One For One? (October 9, 2007)
Stagehands' Union Concedes Key Point (October 5, 2007)
Stagehands Talks To Continue This Afternoon (October 5, 2007)
No Monday Lockout (September 29, 2007)
Before The Holidays Strike? (September 25, 2007)
Thanks, Mel! (July 6, 2007)

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At 09 November, 2007, Anonymous STAND BY TO "GO" said...

I am a Local One Stagehand;
I have been in this Great Business for over 20 years.
I have a family.
I live in the suburbs of N.J. Because I can not afford to raise a Family in Manhattan. (If we do make $160,000 ’s a year. The Producers own me about $80,000).
I work 6 days a week, Yes nights, Days Weekends.
I am the best at what I do!
There is no other biz like this!
I and my LOCAL ONE brothers and sisters Love this “Theatre Industry”as The league Calls it.
To us it’s “Show Biz”
We have been told, The Biz is” Unhealthy”
But if you look at Grosses and ticket sales. You will see about 1 billion Dollars.
Six record years of profit taking in a row.
This does not include Road Shows, Movie Rights, and Merchandising!

They think The Theatre Going Public has forgotten the “Threats” of “Lockout”.
They think by trickery and Advertising Public and Relations, They Can “BUST THESE UNIONS ONE AT A TIME.

Do they realize “We are not trust fund babies” “We work for a living”
We are people, just like the theatre going public.
We Work, just like the theatre going public.

We don’t take limos to the Theatre, We don’t have No show Job’s.

At 09 November, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

How the producers Stole Chrismas!

At 09 November, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Broadway Grosses
WICKED $ 1,335,757
JERSEY BOYS $ 1,217,333
THE LION KING $ 1,093,694
MAMMA MIA! $ 880,667
MARY POPPINS $ 849,121
GREASE $ 685,136
HAIRSPRAY $ 669,778
Yes the Slow Season is apon Us

At 14 November, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm hosting 8 others in NYC for Thanksgiving, visiting from the west coast. 5 are children.

What a perfect teaching opportunity this is. The logic goes like this:

If public sector unions are the most evil thing on the planet, how far behind are private sector unions?

I'll get some of my money back, but undoubtedly will be out the premium I paid for brokered tickets to ensure I had seats for the few days I'm in town.

Guess who'll be avoiding Broadway altogether if the strike cancels my shows? May I advise you counsel your children away from a theatre career, as Broadway goes the way of the Detroit automobile. Enjoy your strike pay and hope there's a job to which to return.

At 14 November, 2007, Blogger Steve On Broadway (SOB) said...

Sam, My heart goes out to you. I'm not pleased by the entire situation because of the impact it has on those who already paid to see Broadway in action.

Since I never use a broker myself, may I ask what procedures your broker has implemented for any ticket exchange?

At 15 November, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks Steve. I went through StubHub, a reputable online broker (again, it's tough to know any local brokers from the opposite coast.)

I'm still crossing my fingers this gets resolved. I'll let you know what I learn should I eventually get cancelled out.


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