Los Angeles Opera Costume Shop Workers Seek Fair Contract – KristenBellTattoos.com

In search of a fair contract, workers at the Los Angeles Opera’s costume shop will hand out flyers to attendees at the opera’s September 30 grand opening.

Last year they voted overwhelmingly to be represented by IATSE Local 768, but the union says they are “disappointed that management continues to stall negotiations. The costume shop workers hope that the patrons, who appreciate the craftsmanship they see on stage, will encourage the Opera to return to the table with a fair offer.”

“We have begun negotiations in earnest for our first contract, but unfortunately the company has not yet responded to our economic offer, which was made by them over 10 weeks ago,” said IATSE spokesperson Allison Smart. “90% of suit store workers are paid less than the low income rate set by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, and these workers literally cannot afford to keep waiting. This is especially outrageous given that the vast majority of costume store employees are women, POC (people of color) and/or LGBTQIA+.”

Says Lark Arrowwood, seamstress/second hand: “Los Angeles Opera has threatened to outsource our work and exclude us from many of the provisions that are already in alliance agreements with other Los Angeles Opera departments. Higher wages and benefits will encourage more great craftsmen to join the workshop so that LAO can maintain the prestige and legacy it deserves. I love my job, but I also see that in its current state it is not a viable long-term career.”

Seamstress Alex Babek added: “In new joint projects with other union suit shops, we do most of the new construction at a lower pay rate. Forming a union provides the same attention and respect as our fellow union members.”

A nearby fire on August 21 caused widespread smoke damage in the opera house’s warehouses, and the union said less than a month before the opening night, “workers had to respond quickly to repair dozens of damaged garments.” In an internal edition of the LAO Staff Newsletter, costume store workers were lauded for sacrificing their days off and putting in significant overtime hours to secure the performance at the premiere. Lucia di Lammermoor will run on schedule. Now workers who have risen to the occasion are asking LA Opera to do the same.”

Seamstress Clara Weidman said: “We’re constantly being told how much value we bring to the show and how we’re appreciated, and ultimately we just wish the company would put their money into what they say and show us that we’re appreciated.” . the same as other departments. We care about the success of the Opera as much as the management, but we also need to be able to live our lives.”

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