Producers and Union Move Closer in Contract Talks

News   Producers and Union Move Closer in Contract Talks A concession by Local One, the stagehands union, may expedite the approval of a new three-year contract with the League of American Theatres and Producers.

Bloomberg.com reports that during ongoing negotiations between the two sides on Oct. 4, the stagehands union yielded to producers about how many workers must be employed during the load-in of a new show.

The load-in refers to the period when the sets, costumes and equipment for a new show are loaded into a Broadway theatre. The process takes a few weeks, and requires by contract what producers consider a large number of stagehands working for a set number of hours. Both parties have accused the other side of greed, with producers demanding that stagehands only get paid for actual work, the stagehands pointing out Broadway's recent record-breaking profits.

According to Bloomberg.com, the union may allow producers more flexibility during the set-up of a new show if the hourly wage of the workers used are increased. Any agreement, however, would still need to be approved by members of the union.

The concession by the Union came after a long day of negotiations when, according to Bloomberg.com, the Union realized that producers were willing to allow a shutdown of Broadway rather than continue with the long-standing work rules.

The League sent out a statement at 12:30 AM Oct. 6 saying, "Talks between The League of American Theatres and Producers and Local One concluded a short while ago. The parties have agreed to meet again on Tuesday, October 9."