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Stagehands & Writers Strikes_Outline

Stagehands & Writers Strikes_Outline - 1 Broadway...

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1) Broadway Strike a) Background i) IATSE Local One (1) The Union of professional stagehands, motion picture technicians, and allied crafts. (a) formed in 1886 (b) represents about 3,000 stagehands and other theater workers in the New York City area (c) Roughly 350 to 500 of its members for Broadway theaters, building, installing and operating scenery and sound and lighting equipment. ii) League of American Theatres and Producers (the League) (1) an association of Broadway theater owners and producers (a) The League includes nearly every one of the 39 theaters on Broadway b) Contract Issues i) Contract negotiations generally focused on work rules ii) Broadway shows offer a standard eight performances per week ("performance calls"), each of which lasts three to four hours. Additionally, there are "load-ins" (periods during which a show moves into a theater), rehearsals, "maintenance calls" (during which scenery, lighting and sound equipment are serviced, repaired and maintained), and opportunities for overtime. The League has accused the union of using its contract to secure featherbedding , a practice made illegal by the federal Taft-Hartley Act. (1) Featherbedding (a) Section 8(b)(6) as any agreement or union demand for payment of wages for services which are not performed or not to be performed. (b) The practice of hiring more workers than are needed to perform a given job, or to adopt work procedures which appear pointless, complex and time-consuming merely to employ additional workers. - “Make Work” iii) Loosening load-in rules: (1) The load-in period may last several weeks and cost $1 million or more. Current work rules require producers to determine ahead of time how many stagehands are needed on each given day. These numbers cannot change once load-in begins, requiring producers to pay salaries even if no work occurs. The rule forces producers to better manage load-in and ensures that workers will not be on call (and unpaid for it) during the load-in period. (a) The producers proposed essentially eliminating the rule. (b) The union agreed to loosen the rule, but sought to keep a minimum number of stagehands at work each day.
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iv) Overtime: (1) The existing contract says that if any stagehand is required to work overtime during a load-in, all workers must stay and be paid overtime. The rule, like other load-in rules, is designed to force better management of load-in and force producers to hire an adequate number of stagehands rather than force a few workers to work lengthy amounts of overtime. (a) The producers proposed loosening the rule so that producers determined how many stagehands would stay and earn overtime. (b) The union agreed to discuss modifying the contract, but only if the League agreed to strengthen other parts of the contract.
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