NEW YORK CITY – As contract negotiations between Actors' Equity Association and the Broadway League are on the horizon, fears of yet another strike loom large. With Broadway stagehands and Hollywood writers going on strike, the past five months have been particularly trying times in the entertainment industry.
The contracts that the majority of Broadway performers sign are up for renewal on June 29, 2008. While actors and producers are following negotiations closely, so are local businesses such as restaurants, bars, gift shops, and even airlines who felt a significant loss of business in NYC during the stagehand's strike. This strike affected 27 Broadway shows, forcing them closed from November 10 through the 28th and estimated losses for the city totaled $40 million.
While all concerned are hoping to avoid a similar situation, certain topics are sure to become contentious points between negotiators. The main discussion point of the Writer's Guild strike, namely residuals from new media, is relatively unheard of in the Broadway community. However, with more musical and plays using internet, cell phone, and video marketing, the involvement of Broadway performers in these efforts may become an issue.
The good news is that, no matter how heated the contract renewal discussions become or if a work stoppage is called, the corporate entertainment and special events markets will not be affected. Broadway actors are covered under separate contracts for these engagements.
Source: Meeting Professionals International