Kennedy Center

Kennedy Center Reaches Deal With Stage Crew Union, Averting Strike


The show will go on at the Kennedy Center.

The center reached an agreement with a union representing some of the crew and stagehands, avoiding a strike. The union ratified the deal Saturday.

The new three-year agreement covers matters such as pay and benefits. According to a press release from the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) Local 22, the new deal calls for a wage freeze in the first year, but with a slight increase in the second and third years. The deal also established protocols for better protecting workers against COVID-19.

The union said it was also able to get jurisdictional rights for the Kennedy Center's new space, the REACH.

“This was a long hard slog, but we now have a contract we can live with that protects our members and gives the Kennedy Center the relief it needs to recover from the pain caused by the pandemic,” said IATSE Local 22 President David McIntyre in a statement.

The union had voted unanimously last week to authorize a strike after more than a year of negotiations.

"We are satisfied with the outcome of these negotiations with IATSE Local 22," Kennedy Center President Deborah Rutter said in a statement. "From the outset we have been open and transparent with the union regarding our financial challenges and the need for shared sacrifice across the institution."

The new deal comes just days before the highly anticipated opening of the Tony-Award-winning musical “Hadestown.”

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