Kennedy Center Avoids Stagehand Strike After Reaching Agreement With IATSE

Industry News   Kennedy Center Avoids Stagehand Strike After Reaching Agreement With IATSE
 
New terms in the union contract address wages, safety, and jurisdiction over the D.C. venue’s new REACH space.
Kennedy Center
Kennedy Center Wikimedia Commons

As contract negotiations and potential walkouts still loom over the film and TV industry, the dust has at least settled on one of Washington, D.C.'s biggest stages. The International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees Local 22 has averted a strike via the ratification of a new agreement with the Kennedy Center. The union had voted unanimously last week to authorize such a tactic.

The new contract, in effect through 2023, stipulates modest raises in its latter two years and establishes COVID safety protocols for stagehands. The agreement also addresses the one item that remained uncertain at the time of the authorization vote: jurisdiction over the Washington, D.C. organization’s new REACH wing.

The addition was built to house immersive performance art presentations, master classes, and labs, as well as offer space rentals. When contract negotiations began, representatives for the Kennedy Center insisted that REACH be considered a separate facility and therefore not require the employment of union stagehands. IATSE now says it has agreed upon certain jurisdictional rights, noting that the Center will have “some added flexibility for staffing load-out calls” per the contract terms.

Performances at the Kennedy Center, including the D.C. bow of Hadestown (October 13–31), will go on as scheduled.

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