The show may not go on at the Kennedy Center after stagehands voted to authorize a strike days before a Tony-Award-winning musical is supposed to begin.
Behind-the-scenes drama is taking center stage as negotiations faltered between the Kennedy Center and the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) Local 22.
The union voted unanimously to authorize the strike Thursday after more than a year of negotiations.
IATSE says the Kennedy Center wants to cut wages and jobs.
“The Kennedy Center’s management team has decided to use the pandemic as an excuse to gut our contract while taking millions in federal relief dollars just as large audiences are scheduled to return,” IATSE said.
The Kennedy Center says there’s only one issue that’s unresolved: Whether the center must use union workers for events off-campus.
“We remain committed to working with our stagehands to identify a path forward and reach an agreement that reflects the complexities of the pandemic landscape and allows us to continue the world-class performances that are our purpose,” the Kennedy Center said.
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The Kennedy Center says it hasn’t been informed about any work stoppage yet.
IATSE said that if things don’t change by the end of the week, workers will strike. The union says workers would set up picket lines for trucks bringing equipment for “Hadestown,” which is set to make a highly anticipated run at the Kennedy Center between Oct. 13 and Oct. 31.
Performances of “Hadestown” could be impacted.