Leaders of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees met with management representatives of the Metropolitan Opera this morning following tentative agreements between the opera company and two other opera unions. Both the American Federation of Musicians Local 802, the bargaining agent for the opera’s orchestra, and the American Guild of Musical Artists, which represents the Met’s chorus and performers announced agreements early today.
Negotiations are expected to resume Tuesday morning for I.A.T.S.E. Local 1. The I.A. has not had formal negotiations with the Met’s management since July 31.
Local 1 represents skilled craftspeople who work backstage moving sets, handling lighting, carpentry and more. Contract talks with IA’s other six unions, which are composed of backstage artists and technicians responsible for myriad jobs — such as painting and building sets, preparing costumes and wardrobe, hair styling, make-up, handling box office and ticket sales, posting signage and broadcasting the Met’s simulcasts — are also scheduled for Tuesday and will be held concurrently at Lincoln Center. All of the I.A. local unions will bargain directly with Met management and without the assistance of a federal mediator.
“It is our intent to bargain in good faith and get deals done that address the many variables between our work groups and that are fair for all our members,” said I.A.T.S. E. International President Matthew Loeb. “The fact that the other major unions at the Metropolitan Opera were able to reach agreements is a hopeful sign, but we still have considerable ground to cover.”