CHICAGO — Actors and stage managers were outside of Nederlander Theater Wednesday, handing out leaflets to people attending that night’s showing of Jagged Little Pill.
On those leaflets, warnings of the possibility of a strike among more than 50,000 members touring in Broadway shows across the United States.
Members in the Actors’ Equity Association have been working without a contract since Feb. 5, the last collective bargaining agreement negotiated for the group being in 2019.
“If you’re out to see a show, you’re not thinking about the working conditions,” said Leah Morrow, a member of the AEA. “You see production value and amazing talent. These folks are working injured and sick and need rest and fair pay just like anybody [else] out here in the world needs.”
The AEA is asking for an increase in pay and per diem rate for food and housing, as well as guarantees to have enough staff coverage for members when they are sick or injured.
The Broadway League — representation of the shows’ producers — have met with the AEA more than a dozen times since Jan. 1, but the AEA said proposals made so far have not been acceptable.
The Broadway League released the following statement in response to a possible strike:
The Broadway League and Actors’ Equity have been negotiating terms for a new agreement for actors involved in League/Equity touring productions. Additional bargaining dates are scheduled, and we are hopeful that a deal can be reached between the parties.The Broadway league
Organizers told WGN 95% of AEA members voted to authorize a strike if an agreement is not met.
Elsewhere in the US, union members also passed out leaflets in Los Angeles and Las Vegas Wednesday, where performances of the shows Six, and 1776 are on tour, with similar movements taking place in Durham, Milwaukee, and Philadelphia outside showings of Les Miz, Frozen and Into The Woods last week.