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Broadway Strike - Day Four: Union refuses offers of help by the mayor

Local One Pickets

As the strike by Local One, Broadway's unionised stage hands, enters its fourth day there are no signs of a settlement.

Yesterday saw all of Broadway dark, as the few shows that have Monday performances have all been closed by strike action.

The only event that went ahead was the benefit 'The Third Annual Benefit Concert: A Cause For Celebration!', which members of Local One agreed to work on for no pay, rather than receive pay and have their actions interpreted as 'agreeing' to the new contracts that the League has tried to impose unilaterally upon stagehands since 22 Oct 2007.

There were new offers by the Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg to provide the use of Gracie Mansion and a mediator, but the union still refuses to accept the Mayors help.

The Mayor said about the city's offer to help, �I think both groups know that the city is there to facilitate if at all possible, and I think that we should look to the things that they have in common. They both want to settle this. There�s a dispute as to what and how, and they�ll have to work that out.�

During the musicians� strike, by Local 802, which closed Broadway for four days in 1983, a settlement was reached after an all-night negotiations held at Gracie Mansion.

The union is unwilling to accept the offer for the time being, as it believes that the League needs to be shown that they cannot threaten to lockout stagehands if they are not willing to agree new contracts that have not been decided upon in negotiations with the union.

The other contention appears to be the timing of the strike, with the League claiming that the union deliberately timed the strike in order to bring chaos to Broadway during the Thanksgiving Holidays, and thereby increase the pressure on the Producers. The union, in turn, believes that the League deliberately forced the issue to time with the holidays by trying to impose new contracts just weeks before the holidays where due to began.

For the time being it appears both sides are more interested in the public relations war then in trying to settle this dispute. The one hopeful sign has been the hint by Local One president's leader James J. Claffey, when he commented on a previous offer by the Mayor to mediate between both parties that the union would "come back to the table at some point. Broadway has to continue, and we know that."

In the meantime the situation remains as it was when the strike first began with only eight Broadway shows playing and all remaining shows closed. Off-Broadway remains unaffected by the strike and looks forward to showing any disappointed tourists that Off-Broadway has plenty of excellent entertainment to offer.

Broadway Strike! - Day one
Broadway Strike! - Day two
Broadway Strike! - Day three

Click here to find out which Broadway shows are playing, and which ones are not.

Originally published on