Met Opera, Remaining Unions Reach Contract Deals

Friday, August 22, 2014 - 12:05 PM

The Metropolitan Opera's 2012 Summer HD Festival on Lincoln Center Plaza. The Met Opera's 2012 Summer HD Festival on Lincoln Center Plaza. (Chris Lee/Metropolitan Opera)

The Metropolitan Opera has now reached tentative labor agreements with all of its remaining unions.

The International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) says the deal covers six unions representing several groups of workers, including camera operators, box office treasurers and scene artists and designers.

Details of the agreements – which still need to be ratified – have not been released.

“While cost savings are comparable to other agreements reached, the terms and conditions agreed upon this evening vary greatly," said IATSE International president Matthew Loeb in a statement. "These six agreements were crafted to meet the needs of our members and the Met.” 

The Met had threatened to lock out its workers if a deal couldn't be reached.

Even though negotiations are finally over, tension will likely linger from what has been the worst labor strife in nearly four decades at the Met. Most of the unions are set to take a 7-percent pay-cut – a far cry from the 17 percent general manager Peter Gelb asked for at the start of talks. But these also represent the first pay cuts for the Met's unionized workers in decades.

The new contract deals come less than a day before the Met launches its annual Summer HD Festival. The 10-day series of screenings kicks off on Friday with "Moonstruck," the 1987 romantic comedy for which Cher and Olympia Dukakis won Oscars. The opera lineup begins Saturday with La Boheme, and the entire series runs through Sept. 1.


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Comments [2]



Aug. 22 2014 10:54 PM
Kenneth Bennett Lane, Lake Hiawatha, NJ from Richard Wagner Music Drama Institute, Boonton, NJ

I have just heard from one of my colleagues at the MET OPERA that Peter Gelb does NOT care about opera, but HOLLYWOOD with its handsome men and good-looking women sets his sights for all whom he engages as performers, singers and dancers. For Gelb the singers' and dancers' talents are subservient to their appearance I was told today. That for me explains a lot. We have some perceptive people blogging here on the WQXR venue. When I was a student at Juilliard and also at Columbia University, we were given score desk seats for one dollar so we could mark our scores with notations of phrasing, tempi and staging and incidentally partially see the stage at the old MET Opera House. For Broadway shows they have the TKS booth on Times Square that sells the same day performances for half price knowing that the likelihood is that otherwise those seats might very well be empty. As a Wagnerian heldentenor with many years of personal anecdotal experience,it was always a big boost to see a full house, a downer to see at intermissions many empty seats. From every point of view, performer, audience and management the "more the merrier."

Aug. 22 2014 12:41 PM

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Operavore is WQXR's digital 24/7 audio stream and devoted to Opera. The Operavore blog features breaking news, expert commentary and reviews by writers Fred Plotkin, David Patrick Stearns, Amanda Angel and others. The music stream features a continuous, carefully programmed mix of classic and contemporary opera recordings.

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