We’re one pitch away from a Strikeout.
A lot of people
have been asking me whether or not I think the Local 1/Broadway League contract
negotiation will result in a strike.
My answer is
simply . . . no. There will be no Local 1 strike.
In fact, I’ll bet
$100 on it. Any takers? I’ll pay 10:1.
Why am I so
confident? Because of a man named Mr. Trocchio, my high school history
teacher who taught me that to determine the course of the future, you must look
at the events of the past (ok, every history teacher teaches that . . . but Mr.
Trocchio sticks out in my mind because he used to grade our papers while eating
pasta and once I had spaghetti sauce on my ten-pager about the Treaty of
Anyway . . . when
you look at the history of modern labor negotiations in the theater, you will
see that there have been only two strikes on Broadway since 1975.
That data alone
would be enough to give even odds that there will be no strike.
Here’s why I’m
BOTH of those
strikes in the last 32 years have been by the SAME union . . . Local 802.
And, in fact,
Local 1 has never struck Broadway.
The League and all
of the other unions it negotiates with, from the Actors to the Ushers, have
always been able to resolve their issues without a walkout. Always.
No matter how contentious those negotiations can get.
A major contract
negotiation is like the Fourth of July. Both are on the calendar.
And both have lots and lots of fireworks.
But that doesn’t
mean Broadway is going to blow its hand off.
(Although, I have
to be honest. As the producer of three Off-Broadway shows that would have
a lot less competition if there was a Broadway strike, there’s a part of me
that’s secretly hoping for one.)
What Mr. Trocchio
would really be interested in, besides a plate of ravioli, is why the musicians
walk out more than anyone else? What is it about those negotiations that
don’t go as well?
This is something
we should all start looking at now, or I may be betting the other way when
their negotiations come up next.
Until then, watch
my Red Sox win the series if you’re looking for strikes.
Oh, and if there
are any Federal Agents reading this blog, please know that the above referenced
bet was made in jest. This is not an online gambling site and we have no
way of taking money, even though if someone was interested in taking that
bet, they could email me using the address to the left of this blog. Happy Strike Watch!
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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.