Bloomberg’s Manuela Hoelterhoff, in classically combative style, comes down on Peter Gelb’s side in the forthcoming showdown with Met unions, who – she says – get an easy ride and more vacation than she does. She has a point, but it’s not as clear as she thinks.
Before pitching into the interview, Manuela mentions that Gelb plays tennis at 60, despite having had three hip replacements.
Let’s assume the insurance paid for those operations. Every time he went under the knife, Gelb benefitted from past agreements that he signed freely and consesually. Next time he needs a new hip, it might not go so smoothly. The insurers may say ‘Hey, Mr Gelb, we see you’ve been hitting the tennis court pretty hard and wore out or new hips too soon. We want a new agreement at lower cost before we let you walk again.’
That’s not a million miles from what Gelb is saying at this moment to the musicians, choristers and backstage staff at the Met. You had an agreement, it costs too much, I want it cheaper next time.
The unions don’t like it – and Gelb doesn’t seem to understand why.
Read the interview with Manuela here.