Tuesday, November 3, 2009

The Most Powerful Union in the World

When a piano is called for,Dennis O’Connell pushes the piano on stage at Carnegie Hall. That's his job.

For Carnegie's fiscal year ended in June, for this work he was paid $530,044.

The four other members of the full-time stage crew — two carpenters and two electricians — had an average income of $430,543 during the same period, according to Carnegie Hall’s tax return.

They are all members of Local One of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees Union. In Novemebr 2007, during a strike, they shut down 26 Broadway shows for nearly three weeks. You really have to wonder how many Broadway shows were shut down early because of absurd payments made to IATSE members and how many others never got off the ground.

And you really have to wonder about the laws that exist which force theatre operators to use these shakedown artists versus grabbing some guy off the street to push the damn piano.


1 comment:

  1. Oh, goodness. For that kind of money, they can get themselves a robot to push the piano. It would pay off in a year or two. Or for the whole "team package", they can order a whole mechatronic stage. Japanese would love to help with that.