Brian Wise covers the classical music business for WQXR, including aspects of performance, technology, philanthropy and institutional trends. He produces the Café Concerts series and the podcast/show Conducting Business. He manages the station's homepage and makes sure what you hear on air is what you see online. Follow him on Twitter at @Briancwise.
AGMA To File Unfair Labor Charge Against City Opera
Monday, May 23, 2011
The American Guild of Musical Artists said it would consider filing unfair labor practice charges with the National Labor Relations Board against New York City Opera after that company's board voted on Friday to cut staff and move from Lincoln Center.
“AGMA and City Opera are obligated by law to bargain with each other, and AGMA has consistently been attempting to do that and will continue to try,” the union said in a statement. “But to protect our members we’ve also instructed our lawyers to file unfair labor practices against NYCO because it’s refusing to talk about when, where, how work will be done; refusing to negotiate with regard to continuing terms from the expired contract; refusing to disclose financial data, all constitute illegal bad faith bargaining.”
Alan Gordon, the union’s National Executive Director said Saturday that AGMA will also consider seeking an injunction preventing the production company from continuing to use the name New York City Opera.
On Friday, the board voted to leave the Lincoln Center, cut staff across the board and scale back its performance schedule. The opera's general manager, George Steel, says the changes are necessary to keep the opera afloat and build "a foundation for sustainable growth."