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Stagehands strike on Goodman

Back to the table for lies and sandbagging from management.
On the twelfth of March our lawyers contacted us and told us that Goodman had contacted Federal Mediation Services (FM). For those of you unfamiliar with legal negotiation a mediator is there to be a go-between and to encourage both groups to stay at the table and settle. The mediator has no authority to instruct either side. We were very excited to get back to the table. This time we had four representatives of our bargaining unit at the table in advisory positions.
Goodman, on the first day, offered us wage raises between $18.50 for our foreman of six years, $17 for all carpenters and technician heads, and $12 for our shop assistant. Now, while these are substantial raises from what we have been earning and better than other "non-profit" theatres they continue to give us the insulting 50 cent per year raise we have swallowed for years. It doesn't take a genius to figure out that fifty cents is not cost of living. Furthermore, Goodman's top two managers have averaged 9% and 13% raises for the past couple of years while the rest of us have to grovel for 5%. The wages we are proposing to Goodman after three years are still below the "crippling" "commercial rates."
We struggled with Goodman over the subject of jurisdiction. This essentially defines what we do and requires the work to be done by the qualified professionals protected under the contract. Would you want your manager to do your job? Wouldn't that make you feel inadequate? Could you accept the responsibility of a manager's mistake they make doing your job?
We discusses these and other issues in ernest with the Goodman. We heard them say that these issues were still negotiable. We listened to them say that they too wanted an expedient and equitable ending to the negotiations. Talks on our second day ended. Goodman and their lawyer left. Then the federal mediator entered our room and said that Goodman felt there was no need to continue negotiations.
Sooner or later Goodman's promises of professional theatre and community outreach will fall victim to their own tangled web of lies and rumors. They will, in the words of Christmas Carol's Jacob Mary, "wear the chains [they] forged in by link, ledger by ledger, cash box by cash box!!!"



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