Broadway stagehands to go on strike, too


NYC has picket lines everywhere: Broadway stagehands union Local One (stagehands, and the League of American Theatres and Producers) went on strike on Saturday, darkening some 26 productions. The strike was ordered by the IATSE (International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees) President Thomas Short after failed labor negotiations with producers last week.

Some shows first affected include "Wicked," "Jersey Boys," "Chicago," "Avenue Q" and "Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas." Shows not affected are theaters that have a separate contract with the union-nonprofit venues and Hilton, the Helen Hayes, the Circle in the Square and the New Amsterdam. The key issue has been how many stagehands must be employed by each production. Local One has resisted reductions in those numbers, refusing to give up job protection unless it receives other benefits in exchange. Producers want to establish flexibility on hiring rules and criticized "featherbedding," saying not all shows need the same production values.

The last Broadway shutdown occurred in 2003 for four days.