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Bayreuth Festival avoids strike

July 25, 2009|Associated Press

Union leaders say they have signed an agreement with organizers of the Bayreuth Festival, avoiding a strike one day before the world-famous Wagner celebration was to begin.

Union spokesman Hans Kraft says workers "are relieved" because they achieved what they wanted. The festival's organizers were not immediately available for comment Friday.

Kraft says the new labor contract for about 170 stage technicians will cost the festival an additional $854,000 a season, with some workers receiving a pay raise of up to 30%. The technicians will now get salaries commensurate with those at state theaters in Germany.

The festival opens today with Christoph Marthaler's staging of "Tristan and Isolde" and runs through Aug. 28.

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