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Strike averted: Keeping it clean on Broadway

December 18, 2012|By Deborah Vankin
  • Cleaners, porters and matrons of theater union SEIU Local 32BJ demonstrate outside the Broadway League's office, before a vote authorizing a strike in New York on Dec. 12.
Cleaners, porters and matrons of theater union SEIU Local 32BJ demonstrate… (Bebeto Matthews/ Associated…)

The big news on Broadway: strike averted.

Hundreds of theater workers, including bathroom attendants, porters and elevator operators – all represented by the 32BJ union – last week threatened to strike as their current contract speeds toward its expiration date on Dec. 30. On Monday, however, 32BJ reached a tentative agreement with theater producers of the Broadway League.

The details haven’t been announced yet because the agreement must be approved by the 250 affected workers, who currently make $17.25 per hour. But it's safe to say the new, three-year contract will have better pay and healthcare benefits as well as an increase in employer-paid pension contributions.   

"This is a fair agreement that addresses the concerns of our members, the men and women who work hard every day to keep theaters safe, clean and running for the millions of theatergoers who come to Broadway from around the world," said Shirley Aldebol, vice president of 32BJ. "We are looking forward to presenting and discussing the agreement with our members over the next few days."

Among the 32 of the 40 Broadway theaters that would have been affected by a strike are all the Nederlander, Jujamcyn and Shubert-owned theaters, as well as the Circle in the Square Theatre.

The agreement is expected to be finalized by next week.

Broadway – and its bathrooms – will continue to sparkle in 2013.

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