Broadway Could Shut Down Tomorrow; Workers Likely to Go on Strike
Heads up if you have Broadway tickets this summer:
Nearly all Broadway productions in New York City are likely to shut down as early as tomorrow (Friday, July 20). Additionally, almost all touring shows across the country are likely to shut down as well.
The International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) has called for a strike authorization vote following unsuccessful negotiations with Broadway producers (including The Broadway League and Disney Theatrical).
Members of the IATSE have until 2 am on Friday (July 21) to cast their vote for the strike. The strike, which would then likely be called for on Friday morning, could result in an immediate shutdown of most Broadway and national tour productions.
In fact, the move would shut down 28 of 30 currently running Broadway productions and 17 national tours, Playbill.com reports.
IATSE To Vote for Broadway Strike on Friday
The 1,500 union members who would go on strike are covered under their Pink Contract. So that covers stagehands, hair and make-up artists, wardrobe personnel, and others employed directly by the productions.
In order to avoid a strike and shutdown of Broadway representatives from The Broadway League and Disney would have to return to the bargaining table before showtime on Friday evening.
IATSE was close to a new contract back in 2020, but it was affected by the COVID-19 closure on Broadway. A temporary extension was granted to that contract through July 2, 2023. That deadline had been pushed back as talks and negotiations continued earlier this month, a report from ABC 7 said.
However, it kind of sounds like they're at a bit of an impasse, however, according to a report from CBS News.
"We need to show strength and unity to ensure we win the wages, benefits, and rights that all members at IATSE have earned and deserve," wrote IATSE International President Matthew D. Loeb in a July 18 email to members.
Broadway Last Went on Strike in 2007
The last IATSE strike was in 2007 and it lasted 17 days.
It was the union's first (and only strike to date) bringing Broadway to a halt during the busy holiday season that year.
That strike, by the way, came only five years after the Broadway musicians went on strike back in 2003.
Of course, this year's strike by Broadway's stagehands would be the third one that's ongoing in the entertainment industry right now.