Broadway League and Union Representing Theatre Facility Staff Reach Tentative Deal
By Adam Hetrick
The Broadway League and the union representing porters, cleaners, elevator operators and matrons working in Broadway theatres have reached a tentative agreement on a new, three-year contract, both sides announced Dec. 17.
On Dec. 13, 32BJ Local SEIU leadership authorized the 250 men and women it represents to strike if necessary. The current contract between 32BJ Local SEIU and the League expires Dec. 30. Union members are employed in 32 of Broadway's 40 theatres, including those owned by the Shubert Organization, the Nederlander Organization and Jujamcyn Theaters, in addition to the Circle in the Square.
The union's bargaining committee is seeking pay increases, expanded healthcare coverage, and an increase in employer-paid pension contributions for retirement security. Its members currently make $17.25 per hour.
The Broadway League, the trade organization that represents Broadway theatre owners and producers, and 32BJ Local SEIU have had several meetings to negotiate the terms of the new contract. The new tentative agreement averts a possible strike according to the union. Details of the agreement are being withheld until 32BJ Local SEIU votes to ratify the contract in the next week.
"This is a fair agreement that addresses the concerns of our members, the men and women who work hard every day to keep theatres safe, clean and running for the millions of theatregoers who come to Broadway from around the world," said Shirley Aldebol, vice president of 32BJ, in a statement. "We are looking forward to presenting and discussing the agreement with our members over the next few days."
The Broadway League's executive director Charlotte St. Martin issued the following statement: "After continued productive negotiations, the Broadway League and SEIU Local 32BJ have reached a tentative agreement on a new mutually beneficial agreement."
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