Photo credit: Allen Eyestone
New York, Nov. 28 – The AFL-CIO has officially endorsed the IATSE’s boycott of the Raymond F. Kravis Center for the Performing Arts in West Palm Beach, Fla., effective today.
International President Matthew D. Loeb stated, “This support from the AFL-CIO is the strongest statement yet regarding the Kravis Center’s continuous violation of federal law.”
The dispute between IATSE Local 500 in south Florida and the Kravis Center has been going on for over 12 years. In July, the National Labor Relations Board estimated that the Kravis Center owes $2.6 million, plus interest, in back pay and benefit contributions to Local 500 stagehands. The interest continues to accrue.
In 2007, the NLRB ruled that the Kravis Center had failed to bargain with IATSE Local 500, had unilaterally changed wages and other terms and conditions of employment and had refused to use the Local 500 hiring hall to staff its productions, all of which violate federal law. The Board ordered the Kravis Center to reinstate the displaced workers and to resume negotiations with the union, which the Kravis Center had unlawfully ended in September 2000. In 2008, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals enforced the Board’s order.
Undaunted, the Kravis Center has continued to ignore the law and earlier this year the NLRB Regional office in Tampa, FL issued yet another complaint against the Center, alleging that the Center unlawfully committed further violations of law in the fall of 2010 and in the spring of this year. A hearing on that complaint is scheduled for early next year.
Members of Local 500 are proud to be a part of the West Palm Beach theatre and entertainment community. They are committed to providing professional labor and to making the theatre an enjoyable experience for all patrons. They only ask that the Kravis Center abide by decisions of the National Labor Relations Board and federal courts.