RCMH Musicians Authorize Strike

Volume XCIX, No. 11December, 1999

The Radio City Music Hall Orchestra voted unanimously on Nov. 12 to authorize Local 802 to call a strike if an agreement is not reached soon with Radio City Productions. The union and management were far apart on wage issues. The strike authorization vote quickly became news in the New York print and electronic media. A strike could close the Christmas Spectacular, which was in the second week of its very profitable nine-week run when the vote was taken.

Cablevision – which owns Radio City Productions, Madison Square Garden, the Knicks and the Rangers – is the metropolitan area’s largest cable television operator. The company has just spent $70 million to renovate Radio City’s 5,000-seat theatre. Local 802 President Bill Moriarity told the media, “If this kind of investment can be made in the physical space at Radio City Music Hall, certainly there could be a modest investment in the people who make this great theatre come to life every Christmas season.”

The situation was changing daily, as this issue went to press. An update will appear in next month’s Allegro.