As the strikes comes closer to a resolution, I’m getting more riled up.
I’ve tried to remain calm during all of this and I’ve tried to look at both sides of this destructive dispute since I have friends on both sides of the table. But now I’m irritated.
Here’s a paragraph from yesterday’s New York Times with a quote from Bruce Cohen, the spokesperson for Local 1:
“They want all this great flexibility after a performance,” Mr. Cohen said. “They want us to work one hour, two hours, three hours after a performance. We want to go home and make our train. We live in the suburbs, and we want to make the last train out of Penn Station, and they don’t seem to recognize that.”
Mr. Cohen… are you really saying that the League should take into consideration where a person CHOOSES to live when negotiating a collective contract? And are you really making a sweeping generalization suggesting that all of your members live in the suburbs (I know a few that live on the Upper West Side that might disagree with you). You want to make your train??? What the…
Can you imagine what the Local would say if the Producers had said that they needed to make their train to their house in the suburbs?
If a person wants to live in the city, outside the city, or in a box in Sri Lanka, that is his or her choice, and to state that the contract governing his employ should recognize his CHOICE is just absurd.
What’s next . . . is Mr. Cohen going to a make gross generalization suggesting that Local 1 members choose to drive SUVs and therefore require more money for gas? Or that they choose high protein diets so they need more money to pay for steaks? Or that Local 1 members like collecting Faberge eggs? All of these are absurd fabrications on my part . . . yet all are lifestyle choices that have nothing to do with an employer’s obligation to an employee.
If I don’t want to commute to work, then I must move closer to work. If I want a more suburban lifestyle, then I have to commute to work. If I want to raise pigs in my spare time, then I have to wake up early and pay for slop. Or . . . I can change jobs to fit the lifestyle that I want. I have that choice. Simple.
You know what makes me more upset (And Local 1 members should be just as upset)? The fact that Mr. Cohen is a spokesperson. He’s a press rep. He should be a lot smarter than this.
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Ken created one of the first Broadway podcasts, recording over 250 episodes over 7 years. It features interviews with A-listers in the theater about how they “made it”, including 2 Pulitzer Prize Winners, 7 Academy Award Winners and 76 Tony Award winners. Notable guests include Pasek & Paul, Kenny Leon, Lynn Ahrens and more.