Local 802’s Broadway Theatre Committee representatives took part in several strategic planning meetings in April and May, culminating in a daylong seminar led by Ken Margolies, Director of Organizing Programs at Cornell University’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations, on June 4. Also participating were President Moriarity, Financial Vice-President Hafemeister, Assistant Director David Lennon, and Assistant to the President Bill Dennison.
The seminar, which focused on the 2003 Broadway negotiations, was a preliminary look at the issues and themes anticipated to arise over the next year and a half of preparations for the negotiations and was presented by Local 802’s Education Department. Margolies had met earlier with the Theatre Committee to discuss the process of setting up a communications network in their orchestras and to plan for the full day meeting.
Participants discussed factors that effect the outcome of bargaining such as the unity of the musicians, technology, public support and taking concerted action. They also explored the strengths and weaknesses of the employers, the League of American Theatres and Producers, Inc. The discussion included background material and statistical analyses of the industry prepared by Dennison. The material, which covered the period from the 1996-’97 to the 2000-2001 seasons, analyzed Broadway musician employment including total musician employment, the numbers of shows, the average orchestra size, and gross revenues. Also included in the report was a discussion of Broadway’s economic contribution to New York City and a demographic study of who attends Broadway shows.
The afternoon session was devoted to developing the issues of the contract campaign, setting goals, and exploring themes for the campaign. The program helped to focus participants on the preparations needed to launch the campaign. The Education Department, which Hafemeister heads, is planning several more such seminars over the next year and a half.