The Playgoer: Post-Strike Round-Up

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Thursday, November 29, 2007

Post-Strike Round-Up

For video footage, check out NY1. Last night they had live post-handshake interviews, so hopefully they kept the footage.

Also: Variety. And Playbill, who also reports that surprisingly everyone, every single show, will be back up and running tonight! (Hopefully actors have been running lines the last few weeks. Anyone know the Equity stipulations on rehearsals during the strike?)

I must say, for once, the Times is better sourced today on the details than Riedel. Campbell Robertson gets the goods on some of the not-yet-for-public-release final terms:

But among the changes the league was able to achieve, according to officials involved in the talks, was a daily minimum of 17 stagehands on the load-in, the lengthy and costly period when a production is loaded into a theater. In the recently expired contract, producers would set a number of stagehands needed for a load-in — say, 35 — and all of them would have to stay every day for the entirety of the load-in, an arrangement that producers said often left large groups of stagehands with nothing to do.

The league was also able to gain an extra hour on the continuity call, the hour before or after a performance when stagehands perform duties related to that performance. In the old contract, any work that took longer than one hour required a minimum four-hour work call. In the tentative deal, stagehands can be called for two hours before a performance or for an hour before and after, though they would earn double for the hour after the show.

In return for these changes and others, union members would get yearly raises well above the 3.5 percent that the league had been offering.
So what we have here is clearly some major work-rule concessions from the union, despite the image of them being totally intractable. League prez Charlotte St. Martin may have even meant it when she announced last night, "“the contract is a good compromise that serves our industry.” One can only imagine some of these compromises were attainable weeks ago, when St. Martin was then calling the union totally indifferent to industry demands.

Other highlights:

Under the just in case you were wondering category:
The sides met for three long days at the law offices of Proskauer Rose, the firm representing the league, where they calculated the value of each other’s offers and went back and forth in old-fashioned horse trading to arrive at a series of wage increases that both sides could live with.
And, for the record:
The strike, the first in the union’s 121-year history, darkened 31 theaters, shuttering 27 shows and one Duran Duran concert, which moved elsewhere.
I know there's a Duran Duran joke there somewhere.

And, finally, I was tantalized by this aside at the bottom of Riedel & co.:
The producers lost at least $19 million, because theaters were dark during Thanksgiving, the second most profitable period for Broadway.
Wow. Lucky for that $20 million "strike fund" the producers had raised....Hey, wait a minute!

2 comments:

rdavis said...

I don't think you even need a joke for Duran Duran...

Anonymous said...

Duran Duran still have it. They are as awesome as ever, give the new Album a listen, I guarantee you will be impressed.