Contract talks expected to heat up at Met Opera

Posted on: February 6, 2014

At Wednesday’s (2/5) WQXR website, Brian Wise reports, “The union representing the singers, dancers and production staff at the Metropolitan Opera is telling its members to expect an ‘epic battle’ in upcoming contract talks. The American Guild of Musical Artists (AGMA) said on Tuesday evening that it has warned its members that the opera company will lock them out if they don’t accept pay cuts of 10 to 15 percent and other, unspecified work rule changes.… AGMA executive director Alan Gordon said he is advising singers’ agents to ‘begin to explore other work opportunities for their clients’ and to ‘prepare for the absence of Met income in the fall and winter of 2014, and perhaps even longer.’ The current contract expires on July 31. In a response, the Met did not address the predictions of a lockout—which would prevent musicians from working and receiving a paycheck—but cited recent financial difficulties.… Last month, Met general manager Peter Gelb also said he will take over labor negotiations from Joseph Volpe, who has been a lead negotiator for the company.… The contract with the Met Orchestra, which is governed by Local 802 of the American Federation of Musicians, also expires in July.”

Posted February 6, 2014