NEW YORK, August 25 — A strike by the Ticket Sellers against the United State Tennis Association was averted tonight (8/25 9:30pm) when an agreement was reached on a new three-year contract for the 22 members of The International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees Ball Park Ticket Sellers Local F-72 who man the box office at the U.S. Open.
The box office workers will receive a cost-of-living increase for each year of the contract, and the whole 22 -member work team will remain intact. The union had voted to strike the USTA August 15.
USTA has been training non-union and inexperienced people on the operation of Ticketmaster machines at the Tennis Center, which led to speculation that if the USTA forced the union to walk out, U.S. Open patrons would be buying all their on-site tickets through Ticketmaster.
As part of the settlement tonight, the union will withdraw its filing of an Unfair Labor Practice charge before the National Labor Relations Board against the USTA. The union claimed bad faith bargaining and failure to bargain regarding its subcontracting of the work.
“We were simply asking for a modest cost-of-living increase for the life of the contract and the rehiring of our work team, some of whom have been serving tennis fans for twenty years,” said Michael G. McCarthy, president of Local F-72. “We got everything we needed to continue our 27-year relationship with the U.S. Open.
Ball Park Ticket Sellers Local F-72 has been manning the ticket windows for the U.S. Open since it opened 27 years ago on 47 acres of New York City parkland. The small 166-member union also represents the ticket sellers at Yankee and Shea stadiums. Ticket sellers usually work 10 or more hours per day, 7 days a week for the two weeks of the U.S. Open.