As the so-called “immigration debate” heats up in the U.S., it’s important to remember that equality is one the most important values of the labor movement.
For instance, the New York Revels recently invited a group of musicians from Europe to take part in the company’s winter production.
But the employer was erroneously under the impression that foreign musicians could be paid less, under a separately negotiated agreement with the foreign musicians’ management.
Musicians who are not U.S. citizens who work under a Local 802 union agreement are entitled to the same rights, wages and benefits as members.
The union security and recognition clauses that are present in almost all 802 contracts recognize the union as the exclusive bargaining agent for all musicians, regardless of nationality.
The employer was required to pay to the musicians not only room, board, and travel expenses (which the employer had sought to consider as part of the musicians’ salary), but also Local 802 scale wages and benefits.
If you are aware of a foreign musician who is being mistreated, call Local 802 at (212) 245-4802 and ask to speak to a union rep. Or call the 24-hour Local 802 hotline at ext. 260.
E-BOARD APPROVES SPECIAL SITUATION
The new musical about the Washington Heights neighborhood — “In the Heights” — was granted special situation status in a unanimous vote by 802’s Executive Board. The show’s music is primarily in a Latin and hip-hop style. The special situation status will result in the loss of just one chair. The board granted the status provided that the union could attend rehearsals and previews and that a neutral would be called to render a decision in the event the union concluded that representations made regarding the production were not accurate. The show opened on March 9 at the Richard Rodgers Theatre.