Thursday, July 31, 2014

Met negotiations extended

New York’s Metropolitan Opera, which had planned to lock out workers whose unions did not agree to new contract terms by July 31, has extended negotiations for another 72 hours.

The company issued a statement saying it has agreed to terms with three of the 15 unions representing its employees, those of service workers such as ushers and cleaners, employees of the call center and building engineers.

The three-day extension of talks was requested by the Federal Mediation Service, which was called in on negotiations between the Met and two of its largest employee unions, those representing singers, dancers, stage and managers and directors, and orchestra musicians and music staff. Negotiations also are continuing with the stagehands’ union, the company said.

The Met, which says that two-thirds of its $327 million operating budget is spent on pay and benefits for union workers, has been seeking concessions from those employees.

UPDATE (AUG. 2): The Met and the union representing its musicians have agreed to a one-week contract extension while an independent financial review is conducted. The extension effectively puts negotiations on hold with all 12 of the unions with which the company has not yet agreed on contract terms.