Theatre Producers and Union Will Resume Talks in November

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and Adam Hetrick
30 Oct 2007

The League of American Theatres and Producers and Local One, the stagehands union, will return to the negotiating table Nov. 7, according to the New York Post.



The upcoming discussion will also include Tom Short — the head of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (Local One's parent union) — and will mark the first the time the two sides have met since talks hit an impasse Oct. 9.

Negotiations are also scheduled for Nov. 8 and 9, according to the New York Times.

The appearance of Tom Short will be a notable one: One of the union's prerequisites for authorizing a strike is the presence of an IATSE official during at least one round of negotiations.

Local One has been working without a contract since July 31.

On Oct. 21 the union authorized its leaders to implement a strike should one be necessary. Following that announcement, the League issued an 11-page document outlining the terms of their proposed contract, portions of which they began implementing Oct. 22.

On Oct. 24 president of Local One, James Claffey Jr., issued a statement to members of Broadway's stagehands union commending them for working temporarily under the new rules from the League of American Theatres and Producers. Describing the rules as "a tactic to frustrate, embarrass and provoke [the union] into taking action against [producers] in an effort to gain the public support," Claffey encouraged membership to obey them in order to "convince our co-workers and the public that this Union did all we could for a reasonable period of time before we were pushed and shoved into defending our families and ourselves."

During the negotiations between the League and the union, the Nederlander Organization has been at the table with the Shubert and Jujamcyn camps as a silent observer. The Nederlander Organization has said it will show solidarity with the League of American Theatres and Producers should the union decide to strike for the first time in its 121-year history. Prior to the union's Oct. 21 strike authorization vote, Hershel Waxman, Vice President of Labor Relations of the Nederlander Organization, sent a hand-delivered letter to Local One President James Claffey Jr., a document that was released by the League Oct. 26.

In the letter, which is dated Oct. 19, Waxman says, "Should Local One engage in a strike against the League, it would be in Nederlander's best interest to lock out the Local One bargaining unit so that the entire theatre industry achieves the best possible terms in any new agreement with Local One."

Waxman said that he hoped the strike would not occur, citing the good relations the union and the Nederlander Organization have enjoyed in the past. Waxman concluded his letter stating, "I urge you and your members to accept the League's Final Offer without resorting to an unnecessary work stoppage."