Thursday, November 29, 2007

What The League And Local One Are Saying

What The League And Local One Are Saying

Now that the new reality of a post-strike Broadway world is beginning to set in, I wanted to share for a moment what the two sides in the bitter stagehands strike were saying.

The League of American Theatres and Producers has posted the following statement:
November 28, 2007


The League of American Theatres and Producers and Local One of the I.A.T.S.E. are pleased to announce that a tentative agreement has been reached ending the Broadway strike.

Performances will resume Thursday evening, November 29. All shows except The Homecoming will play their normal performance schedules. For more information, as well as refund/exchange information for canceled performances, visit our website

League Executive Director Charlotte St. Martin said: "The contract is a good compromise that serves our industry. What is most important is that Broadway's lights will once again shine brightly, with a diversity of productions that will delight all theatregoers during this holiday time. We look forward to celebrating the season and welcoming our talented stagehands, and the theatergoing public, back to Broadway."

Local One President James J. Claffey, Jr. said: "The people of Broadway are looking forward to returning to work, giving the theatregoing public the joy of Broadway, the greatest entertainment in the world."
For its part Local One's official statement comes from Robert C. Score, the union's recording-correspondence secretary:
Dear Brothers and Sisters,

President James J. Claffey, Jr., Business Manager Kevin McGarty, Business Manager Michael Wekselblatt, Attorney and Brother Steve Spivak, Attorney James Murphy and the Local One Negotiating Committee have successfully completed the contract negotiation with the League of American Theatres and Producers.

The strike is over. Do not, I repeat, do not report for picket duty.

The Executive Board of Local One has ordered the picket lines to cease. If you receive a call to report to work, please do so.

The Local One Negotiating Committee is firmly behind the ratification of the contract.

Thank you all, Brothers and Sisters, for all the support and understanding during this historic time.
As for who won and who lost, The New York Times' Campbell Robertson reports that while neither side officially would discuss terms of the agreement:
[A]mong the changes The League was able to achieve, according to officials involved in the talks, was a daily minimum of 17 stagehands on the load-in, the lengthy and costly period when a production is loaded into a theater. In the recently expired contract, producers would set a number of stagehands needed for a load-in -- say, 35 -- and all of them would have to stay every day for the entirety of the load-in, an arrangement that producers said often left large groups of stagehands with nothing to do.

The League was also able to gain an extra hour on the continuity call, the hour before or after a performance when stagehands perform duties related to that performance. In the old contract, any work that took longer than one hour required a minimum four-hour work call. In the tentative deal, stagehands can be called for two hours before a performance or for an hour before and after, though they would earn double for the hour after the show.
In return, according to Robertson, there are gains in pay for the union:
[U]nion members would get yearly raises well above the 3.5 percent that the league had been offering.
So there you have it, folks.

This is Steve On Broadway (SOB).

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At 29 November, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Dear Brothers and Sisters,

The following appeared in the N.Y. Daily News, Wednesday, November 28, Voice of the People, Pg. 32-

B'way Stars

Whitestone: To the misinformed Voicer who wishes his two kids were stagehands: To begin with, they do not all make $150,000 a year, but they should. And they do a hell of a lot more than change light bulbs and move furniture. And if you think your kids will be home on the weekends or for Chanukah, Christmas, New Year's, Easter or Thanksgiving, think again. They'll be at the theatre, working hard, because the show must go on. Be careful what you wish for, sir. You might just get it!

A stagehand's mother

At 29 November, 2007, Blogger Steve On Broadway (SOB) said...

Thanks Anonymous - I had also read that when it was posted on Local One's Web site. It's quite a message.


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