Proposed cut of overtime wages at heart of conflict

The Broadway musicians’ union is calling Cablevision the Grinch who stole Christmas.

Local 802 of the American Federation of Musicians voted Tuesday night to authorize a strike against the Christmas Spectacular at Radio City Music Hall, which is owned by Cablevision.

At issue is a proposed cut of overtime wages that, according to Local 802 prexy David Lennon, will significantly reduce pay for the 35 musicians who play the Spectacular’s rigorous sked, set to begin Nov. 2.

A representative for Radio City Entertainment said, “While we typically do not comment on labor negotiations, we will say that we fully expect to reach an agreement with our musicians.”

Lennon sounded a less conciliatory note, adding that the Spectacular’s producers threatened to use recorded music, the major bone of contention in the Broadway strike of 2003.

“We didn’t tolerate it then, and we won’t tolerate it now,” he said.

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