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Split personality. Liking the arts, especially opera, and hockey and Los Toros. I know, I know THAT one is non pc currently. But I can't help it saw some in Spain and got hooked, but good. But on the other hand right now opera and hockey are in the forefront!


Thursday, August 11, 2011

Muscle Flexing by AGMA? AGAIN!

Just stumbled across this article by Andrew Patner quoted below in its entirety.

And it came as rather a shock. 
Following the debacle at New York City Opera.
After the news of drastic cutting of artsfunding at state and federal levels.
AGMA flexes its muscles!
Because it can!
Because it wants to force issues, which may or may not really be urgent at this time.
Will Anthony Freud be successful in negotiating after his official start at Lyric opera Chicago?
I simply am baffled. 
 Just let them sing!

When everyone (including government) tries cutting back drastically on spending.
When people tighten their purse strings just to survive!
It does seem to me any one still being employed should be content, when so many are facing lay offs, have been down sized, outpaced their unemployment payments.
Another sign of these times. Another "big brother" action "Its all for your own good'!

Singers' Union alleges lockout threat by Lyric.
Says it could picket Grant Park free concert next month
Contract negotiations between Lyric Opera of Chicago and its three major unions normally take place in relative quiet until a season curtain is about to go up.
But with more than seven weeks until Offenbach’s The Tales of Hoffmann is set to launch Lyric’s annual gala evening Octoer 1, the executive director of the national union that represents the company’s principal singers, chorus members, dancers, non-singing actors, and production staff claims Lyric has threatened its members with a lockout later this month.
The Thursday statement from Alan Gordon of the New York-based American Guild of Musical Artists, an AFL-CIO affiliate, also said “the fall season [is] in peril” and that “members should be prepared to picket” the free September 10 “Stars of Lyric Opera in Grant Park” concert.
AGMA’s last four-year concert expired April 30. Union members had authorized a strike in 2007 but a contract was signed shortly before opening night.
Lyric representatives had not previously seen the statement until informed of it by the Sun-Times. The company’s chief spokeswoman responded: “Lyric Opera is in contract talks with AGMA right now. It has always been the company’s policy not to negotiate in the press and so we have no further comment to make at this time.”
Gordon, a controversial figure currently locked in a bitter dispute with the increasingly shrinking New York City Opera, states that his union and the company differ on the number of work weeks, wage cuts, benefits, and health and safety provisions.
The union is also proposing a one-year status quo contract so that a longer agreement could be negotiated with incoming general director-designate Anthony Freud, who takes up his job on opening night, rather than retiring longtime chief William Mason, Gordon wrote.
He says Lyric has threatened an August 22 lockout if a contract is not signed, a claim that Lyric would not confirm.
“We would not be making these public statements if our members’ livelihood was not being threatened with a lockout,” Gordon said.
AGMA’s national president, James Odom, a tenor in the Lyric Chorus, said, “I’ve never seen this type of intransigence. We, too, prefer to keep negotiations at the table, but when faced with an overt threat of a lockout -- particularly just having gone through an actual lockout of our union with [the] Joffrey [Ballet] here -- we can’t just do nothing.”
Gordon also sent a letter to principal artists engaged for the upcoming season -- naming Renée Fleming (now also a member of Lyric’s management and a vice president of its board), Matthew Polenzani, Catherine Malfitano, and David Cangelosi -- saying, “If Lyric locks out AGMA members, you MAY NOT work for Lyric, you may not cross an AGMA picket line and you may not perform on opening night or thereafter until there is a negotiated collective- bargaining agreement in effect.”
Similar hardball tactics have enmeshed Gordon in a series of Federal labor complaints and counter-complaints with City Opera in New York, whose perilous financial and presenting situation is a far cry from Lyric’s strong fiscal health, ticket sales, and ownership of its own theatre.
The Lyric Opera Orchestra and its union, the Chicago Federation of Musicians, have a separate contract with the company that runs through the 2011-12 season. Civic Opera House stagehands are members of IATSE, the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, and are also not involved in the current negotiations"

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