The Metropolitan Opera has locked out stage hands over a pay dispute. The Met is asking them to take a 30% pay.
AGMA, the union representing most of the Met’s staff, has rejected the Met’s proposed cuts. As part of the deal furloughed workers would have received USD1,500 (€1,250) right away, which AGMA said would mean “selling out the future for short-term relief.”
“COVID-19 is the most challenging period for the arts in living memory, but it should not be an excuse for the Met to permanently undermine the contracts of its unionized workers,” said AGMA in a statement. “The Met’s workers are the Met; there is no Met without a workforce that can support themselves and their families.”
It is unclear when negotiations between the Met and AGMA will next take place.
The Met released the following statement: “We recognise the enormity of the sacrifice that 30% reductions represent and seek them only because it is absolutely necessary to ensure the Met’s survival. We must significantly reduce our costs to weather what is likely to be a continued period of financial strain.
“The Met remains hopeful that it will come to an agreement…the future of the Met depends upon it.”