Contract negotiations between Broadway producers and actors have turned into a case of show me yours and I’ll show you mine.
The current deal between Actors’ Equity and the League of American Theaters and Producers expires June 27. Talks have been ongoing. However, on Monday League prexy Jed Bernstein fired off a letter to the union’s executive director, Alan Eisenberg, accusing Equity of giving Troika Presentations, a non-League producer, a reduced compensation deal for a road tour of “Evita” this fall.
“From our standpoint, there should be nothing further to discuss on the road issue in our contract negotiations,” wrote Bernstein. “Treat us as you treat non-League, non-Equity producers and our members will be able to send more Equity productions out on the road.”
The letter went on to demand that the union “fully disclose the terms” of its Troika deal.
Eisenberg volleyed back that the union needs to see the League’s “financial information in support of its alleged need for relief” with regard to tours. “In any prior circumstance where a lower rate has been negotiated by Equity, the producer has willingly opened up the financials to demonstrate why a lower rate is necessary.”
Equity recently issued a strike authorization vote, which Eisenberg referred to as part of “normal negotiation practices.”
“This authorization ballot should not be taken as a threat to strike, nor should it be viewed as an intent to strike,” Eisenberg said.