The Playgoer: B'way Strike Update

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Thursday, December 17, 2009

B'way Strike Update

Crain's has a good overview of what's at stake in negotiations between the Broadway League and the local SEIU that represents the "cleaners, porters and matrons" that work the 30+ Broadway houses.

The members of the union, 32BJ SEIU, are currently in closed-door negotiations with the Broadway League on their contract, which expires on Dec. 31. The workers, who earn about $16 an hour, want a $1.50-an-hour raise and a guarantee not to cut health insurance benefits.
Not clear yet how much a strike would impact Broadway, but:
Union officials said if they do go on strike, they would wait until the new year.
It's not yet known if a strike would shut down theaters. The owners could simply hire replacements for the cleaners, unless other unions decided not to cross picket lines. At yesterday's strike vote, the theater workers were joined by Broadway stagehands Local 1, which shut down Broadway two years ago for 18 days with its own strike.
I say, now that I've seen concessions being sold in the aisles before and during intermissions of Broadway shows...there's probably more cleaning up to do! So, if you ask me, they deserve it.

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