Actors’ Equity Association and The Broadway League have settled a grievance that was filed in May 2022 against Waitress producers Barry and Fran Weissler and Waitress
licensor National Artists Management Company that alleged "double-breasting,"
simultaneously profiting from union and non-union workers.
A joint statement from Actors’ Equity Association, which represents more than 51,000 professional actors and stage managers, and The Broadway League, the national trade association for the Broadway industry, reads, “Actors’ Equity Association and The Broadway League are pleased that the parties were able to reach a settlement of the grievance filed by Actors’ Equity Association in May 2022 in connection with the most recent tour of the musical Waitress. The settlement is an amicable resolution acknowledging the interests of all parties, including the producers, actors and stage managers, given the unique circumstances regarding this production.”
Equity had allegedly uncovered evidence that NAMCO had a financial interest in the non-Equity production. This would have violated the union recognition clause of both Equity’s Production Contract and Short Engagement Touring Agreement to which NAMCO and the Weisslers are party through their membership in the Broadway League.
Equity had previously filed with the National Labor Relations Board to represent the actors and stage managers of the non-union tour. The filing was triggered by a card campaign—the first for Actors' Equity in more than a decade—in which a "critical mass" of company members expressed their desire to be represented by the theatrical union.
Non-union company members cited the union production's dramatically higher pay—the non-union performers were reportedly paid a third of what their union counterparts received—and comparatively less stringent safety protocols as the reasoning behind their decision to unionize.
Led by Jisel Soleil Ayon as Jenna, the non-union tour cast of Waitress
also included Dominique Kent as Becky, Gabriella Marzetta as Dawn,
David Socolar as Dr. Pomatter, Brian Lundy as Ogie, Shawn W. Smith as
Earl, Jake Mills as Cal, and Michael R. Douglass as Joe. The ensemble
comprised Elvie Ellis, Stephanie Feeback, Olivia London, Jake McCready,
Dayna Marie Quincy, Zoë Brooke Reed, and Woody White, with swings Nicole
Clemetson, Justin Forward, Justin Glass, Andrew Burton Kelley, and