Stagehands Union IATSE Local 8 has taken its case to the Board Members of the Philadelphia Theatre Co. as it continues on strike despite many hours of failed face-to-face negotiations.
“The employer will not agree to back off its demand to have the unrestricted right to hire as many non-union workers as they decide to perform the work covered in the union’s jurisdiction and previously performed by the workers of the PTC who chose to be represented by the union,” said IATSE Local 8 Business Agent Michael Barnes.
To ratchet up pressure on the staff and board of the PTC to settle the strike, the union has written the theater’s Board Members. Barnes advised them, “In September 2012, following an NLRB election, the National Labor Relations Board certified Local 8 as the collective-bargaining agent for stagehands at the Suzanne Roberts Theater. Since then, our union has been engaged with the theater in an attempt to negotiate a union contract for these workers.
“While we thought we were reasonable in our proposals, management did not. The recently hired production manager has attempted to replace us with strike-breakers rather than agree to writing down the established practices of the theater. Management’s response to our vote and legal right to collectively bargain has been unacceptable proposals and strike-breakers.
“We are asking the Board Members of the Philadelphia Theatre Co. to resign immediately to show support for the workers. If you chose not to resign immediately, you are supporting these anti-worker actions. Our intent will be to use legal, peaceful means to notify the public including hand-billing, bannering and advertising at your place of business.
“We ask that you join our fight and inform the PTC Board Chairman that you will not serve on a Board that undermines the very values of the show that you are proudly producing.”
Last night, the Stagehands walked arm in arm from a rally at City Hall down Broad Street to reinforce their picket line in front of the Suzanne Roberts Theatre, in the fashion of Dr. King’s marches.