IATSE Members Set to Return to Metropolitan Opera July 7 Following Tentative Agreement

By Francisco Salazar

IATSE has announced that after nearly round-the-clock negotiations at the end of June that lasted into the July 4th holiday weekend, negotiators for the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees Local One and the Metropolitan Opera reached a tentative agreement for a new contract.

OperaWire first reported the news on July 3rd and this morning stage and shop crew members of IATSE Local One employed at the Met Opera were briefed by the union’s president James J. Claffey Jr. and the union’s bargaining team.

In order for the agreement to be ratified there will be a vote on July 18. However, as a result of an overwhelming majority of the Met’s stage and shop crew members voting in favor of submitting a positive recommendation to the full membership to ratify the agreement, members are expected to return to work on July 7.  

In a statement Claffey said, “Getting to this point required overcoming hard feelings due to the lockout of our members and crafting some innovative solutions. We were coming down to the wire. If talks had dragged on any longer it may have been impossible to prepare the opera house for a September opening. This agreement makes it possible for the 2021-2022 opera season to begin as scheduled.”

IATSE International President Matthew D. Loeb added, “It would have been a new kind of opera tragedy if the Met remained closed. But we’re not done yet. Our union has many members at the Met beyond those represented by Local One. We need to make sure that their contracts are settled and their issues are addressed.”

Details about the agreement are set to be revealed on July 18 but OperaWire obtained advanced details that include a three percent wage cut and a 4 1/2 percent annuity cut for three years. There will also be a lump sum payment equal to eight weeks of bridge pay as well as several other concessions on both sides, per the source.