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B-Way Strike

Discussion in 'News' started by punktech, Oct 22, 2007.

  1. punktech

    punktech Active Member

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    any one know about what's going on??? i've read a few articles but they were really vague and didn't explian the situation very well...
     
  2. Footer

    Footer Senior Team Senior Team Premium Member

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    Basically, there are contract negotiations going on. Local 1 just voted to take 1.5 (ish) million from the general fund and put it into their support fund for workers during a strike. This is essentially the union voting saying that "we will strike..." They have said that they will strike in December (bways biggest month) if a contract has not been reached by then.

    http://www.lightnetwork.com//?msg=23192.1
     
  3. Van

    Van CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

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    Wow, imagine Local #1 going on strike, and there's threat of a writers strike in Hollywood scheduled for around the same time. Americans might just have to pay attention to the news come December / February.
    :twisted:
     
  4. icewolf08

    icewolf08 CBMod CB Mods

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    Actually Van, the way I see it, is that theatres like mine, the regional theatres will greatly benefit if broadway goes dark and hollywood has issues. If you can't go to NY to see a show, see it close to home, and still see a high quality performance.

    Also, just to recap the story for any who haven't heard. The Broadway producers wanted to re-negotiate their contracts with Local 1 because they felt that they had to hire too many IA people for each show, and many of those people got paid to not do anything. In response the IA said if they want to reduce the number of contracted stage hands then they had to increase the pay for the stagehands by something like 40%. As neither side could come to an agreement we are now looking at a strike. If/when the strike happens it will cost the city of NY about $5 million/day due to lack of people coming to the city for the shows. There are also something like 5 shows that supposedly won't be affected as they are not run by the same producers association and therefore are not connected to the contract negotiation, but I am not sure what happens if Local 1 calls a general strike.
     
  5. avkid

    avkid Not a New User Fight Leukemia

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    What dream world are you living in?
    The largest entertainment union strike in NY lasted exactly 30 days and cost 3 million (in 1919 dollars) which is the equivalent about $38,900,400 today.
    I doubt it will last long.
     
  6. avkid

    avkid Not a New User Fight Leukemia

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    To add to everything else that has been said, AEA will most likely follow to some degree if a strike does occur.
     
  7. Van

    Van CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

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    Ack! now go outside, turn around three times and spit. AEA going on strike, what are you trying to do ? give me a coronary ?
     
  8. avkid

    avkid Not a New User Fight Leukemia

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    Not the whole Union silly.
     
  9. Van

    Van CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

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    It was that mention of a general strike in the previous post. I got all caught up in the moment.
     
  10. avkid

    avkid Not a New User Fight Leukemia

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    Oh yeah, the great AEA strike of 1919.
     
  11. punktech

    punktech Active Member

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    thanks guys! i was unable to find much in the way of industry publication on it, so i knew info was missing info. a bunch of sites were making it sound like Local 1's fault, they failed to mention the higher pay counter-offer, so they came off as assholes just saying "continue to hire a crap ton of our guys or we won't work."...not to sound like a horrible person, but crossing the picket lines might be slightly profitable, if you can survive the wrath of super pissed techies...
     
  12. lamphead

    lamphead Member

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    Strike Authorization Requested
    Thomas C. Short
    International President
    I.A.T.S.E.
    1430 Broadway, 20th floor
    New York, New York 10018

    VIA FACSIMILE AND REGULAR MAIL

    October 26, 2007

    Dear President Short,

    As you know, The League of American Theatres and Producers have declared an impasse in its negotiations with Local No. One.

    The parties exchanged "final" offers on October 9, 2007, and on October 22, 2007, The Shubert Organization and Jujamcyn Theatres began implementing a portion of their final offer relating to "the running of shows."

    It should also be noted that The Nederlander Organization has participated in our negotiations as observers, but have declared that they intend to take coordinated action against Local One should the League engage us.

    Pursuant to Article Twenty-Two of the International Constitution, Sections 2 and 3, I am hereby requesting strike authorization in accordance with the provisions of Section 3 and applicable to all Shubert, Jujamcyn and Nederlander Theatres.

    Please be advised that Local One has also fulfilled the Constitutions provision for a membership strike vote that was held on Sunday October 21, 2007. A legally carried motion was passed unanimously by Local One's membership with full knowledge that it would require your final authorization for strike approval.

    Local One would certainly appreciate and welcome your presence at our next scheduled meeting with The League and would like to thank you in advance for you consideration of our request.

    Respectfully and Fraternally,

    James J. Claffey, Jr.
    President
    Local One, I.A.T.S.E.

    cc: Local One Executive Board
     
  13. SteveB

    SteveB Well-Known Member

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    FWIW, I believe that Local 1 has requested that it's members refrain from discussing the negotiations in public. I'm not sure where the above letter originated, but I might wonder if Jimmy C. wants this stuff out in public, as there was *some* confusion as to whether Local 1 *had* to seek the Internationals approval to go on strike. Something to think about, and correct me if I'm out of place..
    I am not a member of Local 1. I'm the LD at a Local 1 hall, as well as a former IATSE member however and the potential for a strike is weighing on everyone in the NYC area who works in the entertainment business, and NOBODY I talk to wants, or can afford a strike.
    If a strike were to occur, it would be against roughly 18 theaters out of 30 some odd that constitute the Broadway contract with Local 1 IATSE, and would also impact Local 802 (musicians) as well as AEA, thus any strike would not close up all of the Broadway shows, and would have little impact on all the assorted other facilities - Lincoln Center, Radio City, City Center, the TV Studios, MSG, as well as the other hundred or so events taking place daily and weekly. I have read that it would affect *some/most* of the 350 or so stagehands working ALL of Broadway, out of about 2,000 in the local.
    My understanding, and what's been reported in the press, is the major sticking point (at least this is what the League is reporting to the press) seemingly is the Leagues desire to gain some give-backs and wrest a bit of control away from Local 1 in the numbers of folks in the assorted departments required by the current contract during load-ins, as well as possibly new working rules that would allow folks called in under one department, carpenters, as example, to cross-over to another - electrics, as example, during the load-in period - which BTW, I understand is from the first moment of load-in to the theater to the moment of previews opening. I believe the IA's position, is OK, but 'ya gotta' pay for it, as our folks are going to lose money. The current numbers I've seen reported from the League is something like 16% over 5 years, or some such, which IMO is total B _ _ _ _ _ _ T, as it's not even a local COL increase. Thus an impasse.
    As per the Writers strike in Hollywood, this too is something that is looming and has the IATSE California and NY locals, as well as all the other assorted unions concerned, especially as the negotiating parties are very far apart and in a contentious period right now, so it looks like a strike. This too is a bad thing as nobody makes money. The NYC area movie end of the business is moderately busy, and is supposed to stay busy for the foreseeable future with movies being rushed to completion for the producers to stockpile in the event of a strike. It don't look good and would put my wife (a scenic painter) out of work.
    SB
     
  14. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

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    Thanks for the updates. There are a lot of us out here who are far away from the situation and have no idea what's going on.
     
  15. SteveB

    SteveB Well-Known Member

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  16. SteveB

    SteveB Well-Known Member

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    As of 11AM this morning - Sat 11/10

    From local radio station 1010 WINS website:

    Picket lines went up at theaters throughout the Times Square area. The first show to be affected was ``Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical,'' a holiday attraction for families that had an early 11 a.m. matinee.

    A spokesman for Local One, the stagehands union, declined comment on the work stoppage.

    Lisa Linden, a spokeswoman for the League of American Theatres and Producers, said the group had not heard from the union regarding the job action. ``It would be shocking if they would hurt the theatergoing public by shutting down Broadway without notice,'' she said.

    The League and Local One have been in negotiations for more than three months, wrangling over work rules and staffing requirements, particularly requirements governing the expensive process of setting up a show.

    Local One, which has been working without a contract since the end of July, was told Friday by its parent union, the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, to begin the walkout on Saturday.

    Eight Broadway shows will not be affected by the strike, as they are playing in theaters with separate Local One contracts. They are ``Young Frankenstein,'' ``Mary Poppins,'' ``Xanadu,'' ``The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee,'' ``Mauritius,'' ``Pygmalion,'' ``The Ritz'' and ``Cymbeline.'' Off-Broadway shows will also keep running.

    But among the shows shut by the walkout are such popular attractions as ``Wicked,'' ``The Phantom of the Opera,'' ``Rent,'' ``Les Miserables,'' ``Monty Python's Spamalot'' and ``Mamma Mia!''

    On Thursday, after two days of contentious negotiations, the local got its parent union's permission to strike.

    November has been an exceptionally busy month for Broadway, with the opening of such plays as Tom Stoppard's ``Rock 'n' Roll,'' ``Cyrano,'' starring Kevin Kline, and Mel Brooks' ``Young Frankenstein.''

    Still to come before Christmas are such productions as ``The Farnsworth Invention,'' by Aaron Sorkin, Disney's ``Little Mermaid'' and a revival of Harold Pinter's ``The Homecoming.'' Broadway traditionally does well in December, particularly in the week between Christmas and New Year's, normally the busiest of the year.

    The 3,000-member stagehands union, which has between 350 and 500 members working on Broadway at any given time, contends it could find employment for many of its people in television or film if a work stoppage occurs.

    FWIW, one of the rumours floating around is that the International might call for a work stoppage on ALL National Tours as produced by the League of Broadway Theater Producers, by any locals at any theater the tour(s) might be scheduled. Interesting way to hit 'em a little harder in the wallet.

    We also heard that this weeks negotiations- at which the International president - Tom Short was present, was more then "contentious" with actual name calling, so this might be a long one, with tempers having flared on both sides.

    My take, even given what I feel are some archaic work rules, is that Local 1 tends in general, to bend over backwards to work with the producers and promoters in not killing the production. Thus the 122 year history of never having struck. Thus I am fully in support of the members out of work.

    Steve Bailey
    Brooklyn Center for the Performing Arts
    Brooklyn College
    A Local 1 house

    Steve B.
     
  17. avkid

    avkid Not a New User Fight Leukemia

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    Now if AEA and the AGMA would step up, this could be over darn quick.
     
  18. Footer

    Footer Senior Team Senior Team Premium Member

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    Agreed. What I can't wait for is if they do do the work stopage for touring shows and there are shows that are trapped in multi week sit downs that can not strike because no one will cross the line. I give it a week and it will be over, too much money will be lost if this thing runs. If AEA joins in, which they are both AFL-CIO unions, this thing could go really quick.
     
  19. SteveB

    SteveB Well-Known Member

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    Neither AEA nor AGMA members are crossing the picket lines at the theaters closed, so they are in complete solidarity with Local 1. This was also the case 4 years ago (edited) when AGMA Local 802 went out in a dispute over pit minimums and electronic playback and both AEA and Local 1 stopped work as well.

    Note also that there are other IATSE locals - USA 829 Scenic, Lighting & Costume designers as well as Painters, Local 764 Treasurers & Ticket Sellers, Local 751 Wardrobe, etc... that are (to my understanding) not working at the affected theaters, as while these local have existing and current contracts with the LOBTP, they are in solidarity with Local 1 and will not cross the picket lines.

    Thus it becomes an issue with LOBTP and Local 1 to solve,
    with everyone hurting.

    In theory, IA Local 1 members CAN work elsewhere in the city, as there are still events happening at all the assorted spaces under Local 1 jurisdiction, so possibly not every striking member is going to be out of work. Many non-card carrying members doing Local 1 work are going to be displaced by those with cards, however.

    FWIW, the conversation today at work brought up the point that the Writers are also on strike, and while it's impacting Hollywood more then NY, it HAS stopped shows such as Letterman, SNL, assorted other talk shows, soaps, etc.... which has (my best guess) added add'l Local 1 stage hands to the out of work, mostly as all these events affected by the writers are now on hiatus.

    This at a time when work is usually at peak and folks are trying to save up to get thru the winter slow downs.

    It sucks.

    SB
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2007
  20. Marius

    Marius Active Member

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    I really wish the IA weren't being so tight-lipped about their counter offers since the available information makes it sound like the producers are being the reasonable party in this. Does anyone know anything about what the local offered?
     

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