Jul 23, 2014
By Michael Kramer
Labor strife at the Metropolitan Opera has taken on a new urgency.
General Manager Peter Gelb has sent members of the orchestra, chorus, stagehands and other union members letters – warnings them to prepare for a lockout – if contracts are not reached by next week.
Gelb wants to cut pay and benefits and says – if there’s no agreement, there’s really no option but to impose a lockout.
Contracts with 15 of the company’s 16 unions expire next Thursday, July 31st.
Negotiations are continuing with a number of unions as the clock ticks toward the deadline.
While opening night isn’t until September 22nd, a work stoppage would disrupt the pre-season rehearsal schedule – and would be the first work halt at the Met since 1980.