Following the Metropolitan Opera’s decision to lockout stagehands, the Met Orchestra has issued a statement.
“The musicians of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, represented by AFM Local 802, stand in solidarity with our IATSE Local 1 stagehand colleagues who have been locked out of The Metropolitan Opera, a particularly callous action taken by Met management in this unprecedented pandemic,” the organization stated in a press release. “While our union contracts are separate, we are faced with this in common: Met management is exploiting this temporary situation to permanently gut contracts of the very workers who create the performances on their global stage, while disingenuously advertising lasting cuts as the only way forward. The orchestra understands that short-term concessions are necessary during a pandemic — We proposed temporary concessions to the Met last month and are eager to collaborate. We believe it is possible, even during pandemic times, if all parties agree to work together. However, Met leadership has failed to foster an atmosphere of collaboration, issuing destructive ultimatums which only serve to exacerbate the difficulties we are all facing.”
The orchestra continued, “Despite these difficulties, we will continue to support and stand by our colleagues, with whom we make the magic happen night after night, and with whom we make the Metropolitan Opera name ring resonantly throughout the world.”
On Dec. 7, after failing to come to an agreement with the local one union, the Met lockout all stagehands. In a statement, the company noted that 30 percent reductions are difficult but they ensure the survival of the company. According to research conducted by the company, the city will not return to pre-pandemic numbers until 2025.
The company has been closed since March 12, 2020, and is not expected to reopen until September 2021.