Saturday, November 24, 2007

From Local One

Just received this from the spokesperson for Local One. Any thoughts?

Dear Brothers and Sisters of Actors Equity and all the people of Broadway:

"Either we all hang together, or we will most certainly hang separately." said Benjamin Franklin.

As the work stoppage on Broadway makes headlines around the world, we must note that the whole world is watching. The League of American Theatres and Producers, now known to the media for their great communications inaccuracies, has sent one more letter around the Rialto designed to divide and conquer us.

Local One deplores the vain attempt to splinter the unions, especially the recent one directed at Actors Equity, the first and foremost union of performers in America. The first strike on Broadway for fair wages and benefits was by actors demanding equity. The current strike on Broadway continues in that tradition.

The League's intention in driving Local One to the picket line is not about art, but money. Less for us is more for them. A few years ago they stood ready to replace musicians with canned music. If they can chalk up a win against Local One, the next people in the producers' gun sight will be actors. Then they'll pick off the other unions one by one.

The eloquent and elegant words of Actors Equity's new executive director are still echoing throughout the canyons of the Great White Way. All of Broadway stood up to cheer John Connolly. All working people who heard his oration knows he speaks for them.

Local One truly appreciates the support that all our brothers and sisters working on Broadway have shown for us in this difficult time. Our membership deeply regrets the hardships you are enduring.

The talents of stagehands differ from that of actors, musicians, press agents, designers or make-up artists. But it is the merging of all of our many talents, skills and craftsmanship that makes the magic of Broadway. Front of house, back of house or back office, we are all Broadway, and that is what brings us together.

This fight, with Local One now at the fore and Actors Equity and other unions honoring our picket lines and joining us out in the cold, will long be remembered - not just for how we all suffered, not for what we won and lost, preserved and discarded, but for the unity we showed.

The firmer we stand together now to defend one union's wages, benefits, jobs and jurisdiction, the more the league will respect each union when its turn is taken at the negotiating table. The League only respects power, strength, force and, above all, solidarity. After all, it is The League's hope to hang us all separately.

If there is anything that all of us can agree on, it is the imperative for both sides to meet and negotiate a fair and equitable contract and return the magic to Broadway.

In Solidarity,

Your Brothers and Sisters of Local One, IATSE

Sphere: Related Content

No comments: