There Might be A Metropolitan Opera Lockout

For all of those who love the opera and classical music, there is rumbling on the horizon that doesn’t spell anything good. It seems as though there might be a lockout for the Metropolitan Opera due to contract negotiations with the unions who staff the institution. With less than 7 weeks before opening night of the season, contracts for 15 out of the 16 unions are due to expire and negotiations aren’t going according to plan. While negotiations have been extended for 72 hours, the unions don’t seem to be budging and this could spell trouble for the opening shows.

The reason that negotiations are ongoing is due to the Opera proposing paycuts of 16-17%. By reducing the number of work rules, the Met hopes to be able to get away with paying their employees less. In 2013 the Opera had an endowment of $253 million and an operating budget of $326 million and since they can’t borrow money to make up the difference, the pay cuts are seen as the only way to keep things running. With box office revenues declining and expenses increasing, the Met is desperately trying to come up with ways to stay afloat. With the fact that the Met had to file for bankruptcy last year looming over their heads, the impetuous to save money is even stronger. One only hopes that negotiations are over before any damage to the season is done.

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