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March 11, 2003

Local 802 Musicians and League of American Theatres and Producers Reach Tentative Agreement Following Momentous Four-Day Strike

Actors, Musicians, Stage Hands Stand In Solidarity Live Music Stayin' Alive on Broadway!

Local 802 Musicians and the League of American Theatres and Producers have reached a tentative settlement following a four-day strike that shut down twenty Broadway musicals. The 802-League deal with announced at a press conference at Gracie Mansion on Tuesday, March 11, 2003, following around-the-clock negotiations with mediator Frank Macchiarola.

"The Local 802 strike brought about unprecedented and unanimous cooperation and support from every Broadway theatrical union," said Alan Eisenberg and Anthony DePaulo, co-chairs of the Coalition of Broadway Unions and Guilds (COBUG), an umbrella coalition of fourteen unions and guilds representing theatrical workers in Broadway theatres. COBUG, as well as Equity's "sister unions," the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA), endorsed the striking musicians, as did the New York State AFL-CIO and the New York City Central Labor Council.

"When producers are willing to replace live performers with electronic machines, it is our duty, as performers and workers, to defend our art form and our livelihood," said Equity President Patrick Quinn. "The Actors and Stage Managers of Broadway made it very clear that they could not, and would not cross the musicians' picket line."

"Now it's time to go back to work to do what we do best, which is to perform" added DePaulo and Eisenberg. "All Broadway shows will resume performances this evening, and we wish to thank everyone, and especially the audiences, for understanding and supporting the musicians."

Bill Moriarity, President of AFM Local 802, expressed his deep thanks for support from the other unions. "Tonight we will turn the lights back on Broadway with the live music experience that theatergoers deserve."

"The League, by its recent actions and statements, has united the Broadway trade unions in a solidarity that even we, the Broadway unions, could not have imagined a week ago," said Edward McConway, President of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees Local One, the Broadway stagehands' union.

Eisenberg said that striking Equity Actors and Stage Managers would receive compensation from Equity's strike fund at the rate of $50 per struck performance. Local 802 announced that its strike fund would also be available to any member of the Broadway theatrical unions who was impacted.

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