Cracks in the Unity

By Agreeing to Scab, Musicians Threatened Broadway Solidarity

Volume CIII, No. 5May, 2003

Bill Dennison

Laura Berquist

Scott Harris

Jason Chase

Roger Holmes

Chris Clayton

James Horan

Frank Hames

Chris Kershaw

James B. Harp

Charles Riley

Frank Williams

One of the most disturbing aspects of the recent Broadway negotiations was the willingness of the League to engage openly in strike breaking. Collectively the theatre owners and producers spent over $1 million to prepare virtual orchestras (“VO’s”) and tapes. And they also paid out many thousands of dollars to recruit, house and pay potential scabs to operate the VO’s and conduct the struck shows in the days leading up to the contract’s expiration.

The recruitment of scabs went on for months. We became aware of ads on the Internet as early as last November. Soon after that we began hearing from dozens of musicians across the country who were being offered lucrative jobs on Broadway “in the event of a work stoppage.” Most turned it down flat, insulted at even being asked. Some called Local 802 wondering what this was about. When they were told, they too rejected the idea of scabbing on their colleagues, not to mention the role they would be playing in undermining live musical theatre.

There were, however, some who did not turn the offer down. These individuals are listed in the box above. Some participated in preparing tapes or virtual orchestras. Some were involved in rehearsals with the mechanical devices either as operators or conductors. All were apparently willing to put your job and your future in jeopardy for their own personal gain. You should know who they are.

If you are aware of additional individuals who should be added to this list, please call the President’s office.