With the Writers Guild of America and The Screen Actors Guild – American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) on strike, workers on Broadway could be the next to grab their picket signs.
The International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) announced a strike authorization vote “for members working under the Broadway League and Buena Vista Theatrical [also known as] Disney Theatrical” on Wednesday, July 19, according to the union.
If an agreement is not reached, thousands of stagehands, makeup artists and wardrobe artists working on the Great White Way as well as on tour in New York and Canada could strike as early as the morning of Friday, July 20.
The decision for a strike authorization vote “was unanimously made by the contract’s bargaining committee, which is comprised of International Leadership and rank-and-file theater workers, after negotiations with The Broadway League and Disney Theatrical Productions failed to meet key worker demands,” IATSE noted in a press release.
The latter subsidiary produces hits like The Lion King on Broadway.
IATSE International President Matthew D. Loeb said, “We need to show strength and unity to ensure
we win the wages, benefits, and rights that all members at IATSE have earned and deserve.”
The union noted “notable strides have been made in these negotiations so far,” but “several workers’ top priorities have still not been sufficiently addressed,” including, “increasing salaries for Broadway crews and establishing reasonable weekly and daily rest periods.”
Loeb commented, “This strike vote will send a strong message that we will not accept substandard contracts that fail to acknowledge our workers’ contributions. We will not leave anyone stranded, and we will not back down unless we have a deal the members can accept by the end of the week.”
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