After a long day of labor negotiations that ended around 9:30 pm Thursday [Oct. 4], Broadway stagehands’ union Local One and the League of American Theaters and Producers agreed to resume talks Friday afternoon [Oct. 5] at 2:00 pm.
The two orgs have been engaged in a tense bargaining process for several weeks, with a producer-initiated lockout of the union still looming as a real possibility.
Thursday’s meeting was crucial since it was, until the end of the day, the final session scheduled. The rumor mill throughout the day had been churning along the Rialto, with initial reports that negotiations were stalling followed by word that progress was slowly being made.
Among the central areas of conflict around the table are the contractual employment requirements for the load-in and load-out of sets onto Broadway stages. Producers call the regulations outdated and overly expensive, while stagehands argue that those rules are the product of hard-won compromises that protect their livelihoods.
The stagehands’ current contract expired at the end of July. After Labor Day, producers declared a Sept. 30 deadline for reaching an agreement, with further meetings this week slowly added to the sked.
No further meetings have yet been planned after Friday’s session.