Metropolitan Opera, two unions reach tentative deal to avoid lockout just before deadline
Don't worry Big Apple opera fans, the show will go on.
Administrators for the Metropolitan Opera and two of the 15 unions that have been negotiating for weeks over a new contract came to a tentative agreement Monday.
Local 802 of the American Federation of Musicians, which represents the orchestra, and the American Guild of Musical Artists are the biggest unions associated with the negotiations and it was expected that the other groups would also reach deals, preventing delays for the new season.
“These were difficult and highly complex negotiations, and I wish to commend the parties for their resolve in addressing multiple and complex issues,” said Allison Beck, deputy director of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service, which was called in last month to help with the negotiations.
The details of the deal with the two unions weren’t revealed. The deadline for the remaining unions to agree to a new contract was extended to tomorrow.
The Met Opera threatened to lockout its workers after they refused to accept an initial contract that would have cut 16% to 17% of its capital budget to offset the lower attendance it has experienced. The initial contract offers didn’t guarantee wage increases or health benefits and the unions, which represent 2,500 employees, felt they were being unnecessarily punished for poor management choices.
The new season at the Met is set to begin on Sept. 22.