RSC Staff Moves to Strike

News   RSC Staff Moves to Strike

On Sept. 5, the union BECTU announced that production workers at the RSC will begin to strike on Sept. 15, because recent negotiations over job cuts were unsuccessful. The RSC governor Professor Peter Holland is in support of the imminent strike action.

Holland said: "If they do strike it will bring to a much wider awareness the issues that are at stake in the reorganization. In particular the loss of the RSC as an ensemble repertory company - its vital characteristic for the past 40 years."

In a ballot yesterday, Aug. 30, 90% of technicians at the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford-upon-Avon voted in favor of a strike over job losses. Members of staff at the company's London base at the Barbican, in the City of London, will hold their own vote on the same issue within the next few weeks.

There have been talks of staging a strike ever since artistic director Adrian Noble suggested a major reorganization in May. The restructuring of the RSC includes leaving its home at the Barbican in London, holding fewer productions in Stratford and more in London's West End, and cutting back on staff. Under the restructuring, up to 60 jobs are threatened in Stratford and up to 85 jobs in London.

The technicians' union BECTU will announce dates for a strike next week unless a move is made towards a negotiated settlement.

—by Theatrenow