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Monday, April 19, 2021

Broadway to Remain Closed Until at Least May as Theater Workers Seek Wage Increase

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Broadway will remain closed at least through May as Stagehands’ unions negotiate new contracts with producers, the trade group for the Broadway League announced Monday.

“This strike makes it difficult to work with safety and scheduling considerations into the production schedule,” said Charlotte St. Martin, the president of the Broadway League. “Our producers understand that and are committed to helping Broadway reopen in a timely manner.”

The two unions, Local One of the Art Directors Guild and Local 814 of the IATSE, are seeking a 25 percent wage increase and are being met with resistance from producers and managers, who are looking for reductions in health benefits and pension contributions in exchange for raising wages.

Both unions have negotiated and reached deals with other unions, including the sets, lighting and technical crew.

“Our members will remain off the job through the performance of ‘Hamilton’ and into the spring,” Phil Levenson, the president of Local One, said in a statement. “We remain steadfast in our determination to protect the wages, benefits and working conditions we currently enjoy while on the job on Broadway.”

The union said it had set up picket lines outside the Richard Rodgers Theatre at Broadway and 42nd Street, and the Richard Rodgers Annex at Broadway and 44th Street.

The disruption will extend beyond April 26, when the show closed on Sunday night to take advantage of daylight saving time, in an effort to avoid the Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday periods. The theater will reopen April 26.

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