The Playgoer: Nederlanders Break Ranks

Custom Search

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Nederlanders Break Ranks

Big breakthrough in strike/lockout news.

The League plan to force a strike decision by "imposing" new terms on stagehands without a contract agreement just took a blow, with the defection of a major partner:

The Nederlander Organization, Broadway’s second largest theater chain, today told the stagehands it would not impose a new contract on the union next week, breaking unity with the League of American Theatres and Producers.

The move boosts the union’s, Local One of the International Alliance of Theatrical Employees, power in its ongoing fight with the League.
Keep in mind Nederlander may only be the "second largest" theatre owner in town, but they still own and run nine houses: the Brooks Atkinson,the Gershwin, the Marquis, the Minskoff, the Palace, the Richard Rodgers, the Lunt-Fontanne, the Neil Simon and--of course--the Nederlander. Moreover, the tenants at said theatres include such inconsequential shows as Grease, Legally Blonde, Hairspray, and Wicked. (Not to mention some Disney shows already outside of the bargaining unit.)

By seeking a "separate peace" with the stagehands, just as the strike vote approaches this Sunday, Nederlander just took away a might piece of the League's leverage--no doubt madking some of their colleagues on the rialto very, very pissed.

UPDATE: Definitely read the Comment below on the League's qualifying/reassuring response. Looks like the Nederlander split may NOT be as contentious as it seems.


Anonymous said...

Statement issued by:

Charlotte St, Martin
Executive Director
League of American Theatres and Producers

October 18, 2007

"In the wake of the press release from Local One and the statement by Mr. Claffey, we have been authorized by the Nederlander Organization to state that they have reviewed and are strongly supportive of each of the League’s proposals as they seek to make necessary changes for this business. The Nederlander Organization intends to seek the same objectives in its own negotiations with Local One.

"The Nederlander Organization has their own agreement with Local One, and therefore is not represented by the League in these negotiations. Before negotiations commenced, The Nederlander Organization requested that Local One negotiate with them and the League simultaneously as coordinated bargaining partners, but Local One rejected that request. Although the League has reached an impasse with Local One, Nederlander is not at an impasse. As a result, the Nederlander Organization cannot legally implement these terms at this time. Regardless, they are fully supportive of the League's effort and will remain so until a resolution is found.”

Steve On Broadway (SOB) said...

If history is any guide regarding the Nederlander Organization, they did break ranks with the League in both 1999 and 2004 by negotiating their own contracts. It looks like history may be repeating itself.