November 19, 2007

Broadway Stagehands Still on Strike

The latest report I read about the strike said that the IATSE Local 1 broke off negotiations with the League of American Theaters and Producers because the producers are still holding out on that one issue.

What's the issue? Producers don't want to pay for what they consider "extra" stagehands for load-ins. Load-ins are the time when stagehands move everything into a theater for a show. For years, the way it's worked, is that Local 1 requires a minimum number of people for every load-in, even if some of those people aren't working.

Extra people mean that if someone gets injured moving the insanely heavy and expensive equipment require to make that "Broadway magic", there are people ready to fill-in and keep everything on schedule. But before you start feeling sorry for either side, stop. This money issue isn't keeping the producers from buying second and third vacation homes. And of course the union has a huge slush fund from which they can pay their members for the duration of the strike.

That's how I intepret the situation. I don't REALLY know what's going on in everybody's heads. But I do know that Local 1 and the League are ruining it for everyone else who isn't a theater owner, producer or stagehand. The little people are the ones who are getting hurt.

I am now looking for another part-time job that I can hopefully start in the coming week, because the strike is going to continue until the 25th of November.

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