The Thursday negotiations began at 12:30 PM. Both sides returned to the negotiating table on July 6 following a nine-day hiatus. The two sides had not met since talks broke down during the final hours of Sunday, June 27. Each side said the other walked out of talks. The new set of talks effectively extends the current contract, which expired on June 27 at midnight.
At press time, it had not been decided whether discussions would continue on Saturday, or if negotiators would take a break until Monday. All this past week, such decisions have not been made until the end of each day.
Neither side has announced any offiicial developments resulting from the contract talks. The New York Post reported that recent pow-wows have focused on salary and health benefits.
According to the New York Post, both parties were urged to reconvene by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Bloomberg played an important role in ending the musicians' union strike, which shut down Broadway for four days in March 2003.
* The major points of the new Production Contract between actors and stage managers and the producers of Broadway and touring shows are health-care issues and non-union tours. A sorer point, however, may be the Equity demand that League producers uniformly pledge to cease licensing Broadway shows to companies that create non-union tours. According to the Post, producers have bristled at this idea, which they consider unacceptable interference in business decisions that should be theirs alone to make.