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February 6, 2004

Actors' Equity Association Files UnFair Labor Practice Charges Against Clear Channel Entertainment, The Nederlander Organization, and Dodger Stage Holdings Theatricals

Failure to Disclose Requested Information Prompts Action

Actors’ Equity Association has filed Unfair Labor Practices (ULP) with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) against Clear Channel Entertainment, the Nederlander Organization and Dodger Stage Holdings Theatricals, Inc. The ULP’s were prompted when all three companies failed to disclose the requested information about their ties to non-Equity producers.

At the center of the ULP’s is the question of whether Clear Channel Entertainment has diverted work covered by the Production Contract Work to the non-Equity producer NETworks, the Nederlander Organization has done the same with Troika and Dodger Stage Holdings Theatricals, Inc. to Big League Theatricals. In separate letters addressed to principals of each firm, Actors’ Equity requested any and all documents that demonstrate a general partnership, limited partnership or other financial interest, ownership interest or option in non-Equity companies, among other information. The three firms declined to provide the requested information, forcing Actors’ Equity to file.

The ULP against Clear Channel Entertainment was filed January 7, 2004, the ULP against Dodger Stage Holdings Theatricals, Inc. was filed on January 16, 2004 and the ULP against Nederlander Organization was sent for filing on February 3, 2004.

“None of the three firms has been willing to co-operate with Actors’ Equity and we feel it necessary to determine what relationship these three companies have with producers who send out non-Equity tours,” said Alan Eisenberg, Executive Director of Actors’ Equity Association. “This failure to provide the information we requested begs the question – what are they hiding?”

Clear Channel Entertainment is the producer of a number of Broadway shows and has licensed SEUSSICAL and FOSSE to NETworks. The Nederlander Organization, a theater owner in addition to producing on Broadway, has licensed SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER to Troika. Dodger Stage Holdings Theatricals, Inc. is a producer of 42ND STREET on Broadway and of the current Equity tour. It has also licensed the non- Equity rights of 42ND STREET to Big League Theatricals, which has not responded to Equity’s request to negotiate a contract. Dodger Stage Holdings also produced THE MUSIC MAN and licensed the tour to Big League Theatricals.

Clear Channel Entertainment is a not member of the League of Theaters and Producers (the League). Dodger Stage Holdings Theatricals, Inc., which withdrew from League membership in 2001, is bound by the production contract through its expiration on June 27, 2004. The Nederlander Organization, while a member of the League, has chosen in the past to bargain directly with Actors’ Equity.

“We know Clear Channel and the Nederlanders have direct ties to non-Equity producers and strongly believe that Dodgers has had a direct tie to Big League in the past,” stated Esienberg. “These types of relationships are the worst kind of bad faith when it relates to the contract we have with the League,” stated Eisenberg.

The issue of the road – its economics, the status of Equity tours and the incursion of non-Equity tours into the major markets such as Los Angeles and Chicago – will be a major component of the negotiations between Actors’ Equity and the League. Talks between the two will begin later this year.

Founded in 1913, Actors’ Equity Association represents 45,000 stage actors and stage managers across the country.




 


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