Broadway stagehands to strike - N Y Times

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NEW YORK, Nov 10 (Reuters) Broadway stagehands plan to go on strike today against theater owners and producers, which would shut most Broadway shows, The New York Times reported on Friday on its Web site.

Citing two people who had been briefed on the decision, the Times reported that the stagehands union Local One was told on yesterday night by its parent union to strike. The walkout would follow three months of negotiations over work rules and a strike authorization vote on October 21.

Union representatives could not be reached for comment, and the League of American Theaters and Producers, which represents theater owners and producers, said on its Web site late yesterday that it had not received word of any strike date, and remained open to negotiations.

It also said ticket holders would receive full refunds or exchanges in the event of a strike.

The strike would shut down the majority of Broadway shows, although several major productions including ''Mary Poppins'' and ''Young Frankenstein,'' would not be affected as they have separate contracts.

At issue is new work rules for stagehands involving how many work on a particular show and for how long, as well as what duties they perform.

Local One's parent union, the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, authorized a strike on Thursday.

Theater league members speculated that the strike would only last for a few days, while union members said it could last for weeks, the Times said.

The last strike to hit Broadway was in 2003 when musicians walked out for four days. Before that it had been nearly two decades since one of the city's main tourist attractions was affected by a labor dispute.

Reuters JT GC1055

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