Met musicians blaze solidarity with stagehands
Musicians of the Metropolitan Opera have been expressing workers’ solidarity with the stagehands who have been locked out by Peter Gelb. We reproduce their statement below.
Given that the musicians are the next to face lockout, the sympathy is understandable. But is it the best strategy to adopt in delaing with Gelb? Or with the general perception of high wage levels at the Met?
And shouldn’t they be observing safe distance?
Your thoughts, please.
The musicians of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, represented by AFM Local 802, stand in solidarity with our IATSE Local 1 stagehand colleagues who have been locked out of The Metropolitan Opera, a particularly callous action taken by Met management in this unprecedented pandemic. While our union contracts are separate, we are faced with this in common: Met management is exploiting this temporary situation to permanently gut contracts of the very workers who create the performances on their global stage, while disingenuously advertising lasting cuts as the only way forward.
The orchestra understands that short-term concessions are necessary during a pandemic — We proposed temporary concessions to the Met last month and are eager to collaborate. We believe it is possible, even during pandemic times, if all parties agree to work together. However, Met leadership has failed to foster an atmosphere of collaboration, issuing destructive ultimatums which only serve to exacerbate the difficulties we are all facing.
Despite these difficulties, we will continue to support and stand by our colleagues, with whom we make the magic happen night after night, and with whom we make the Metropolitan Opera name ring resonantly throughout the world.