As a New York City mass transit strike looms, Broadway producers are prepared to soldier on. Jed Bernstein, head of the League of American Theatres and Producers told Playbill On-Line that, subways or no subways, Broadway plays and musicals will go on as scheduled.
"In the past, when transit strikes have happened," said Bernstein, "the tradition has been that the theatre continues." There will be no altered show schedules or canceled performances. Also, there has been no discussion of any emergency transportation arrangement, such as shuttle buses that would take theatregoers from various parts of town to Times Square.
Bernstein said that, in the event of a strike, the League would likely meet again to discuss the situation.
Employees of the Transport Workers Union, which services the city's massive life-support systems of subway and bus lines, are threatening to walkout on Monday, Dec. 16, if they don't get an acceptable new contract. Negotiations between the guild and the city government have been fierce. The union has rejected the city's three-year proposal, which calls for a wage freeze the first year, and unspecified raises for the next two anum. The union is asking for a six percent raise the initial year for its 34,000 members.
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has taken a tough stance, warning he will impose massive fines on both the union and its individual members, should they walk out on the job. The state's Taylor Law forbids municipal workers from striking. —By Robert Simonson