ONGOING UNION NEGOTIATIONS
February 22, 2021
We are pleased to update our community on the progress we have made related to the renewal of the collective bargaining agreement with our IATSE Local 868 Ticket Sellers.
On December 4, 2020, Strathmore was notified by the Regional Director of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) that the union’s allegation that Strathmore had engaged in unlawful bargaining was dismissed because there was “insufficient evidence to establish a violation of the Act.”
Further, on February 2, 2021, Strathmore was notified that an Appeal of that decision filed by the union, was also denied. The NLRB stated, “We find that there is insufficient evidence that the Employer’s bargaining decisions were for the purpose of frustrating the possibility of agreement. The Employer provided reasonable and logical explanations for its change in bargaining positions. Specifically, the everchanging nature of the Covid-19 pandemic in April 2020 was such that economic uncertainty was, and continues to be, the norm on a daily basis. Moreover, the totality of the circumstances of the on-going negotiations does not establish the Employer has engaged in overall bad faith bargaining.”
Additionally, Strathmore has made the decision to settle with the NLRB a process disagreement alleged by the union because litigation of the charge would be both lengthy and costly. To that end, with no admission of violation, Strathmore will comply fully with all requirements of the settlement, and it has rescinded the disputed action.
Strathmore used Paycheck Protection Program funding to keep our full time and regularly scheduled part time employees (including members of Local 868) employed through the end of July 2020, when it was fully expended. Any additional emergency funding Strathmore may receive will be prioritized for supporting essential operations while our venues remain closed.
Operating under an expired agreement, Strathmore is pursuing bargaining with members of Local 868 to negotiate a new collective bargaining agreement. We are eager to reach an agreement that is supportive of our IATSE colleagues and responsive to the changed environment and realities of our industry, which has been so severely impacted by the pandemic.
November 6, 2020
Without the ability to operate any of its venues since mid-March, Strathmore ended its Fiscal Year 2020 with ticket sales revenue down more than 44% from FY19 and is projecting a 98% drop in standard ticket revenue in Fiscal 21. Despite these challenging circumstances, Strathmore maintained its full time and regularly scheduled part time staff (including its Ticket Office staff) through the end of July by making changes to operations, implementing cuts and deferments of expenses, and through the use of emergency grants and funding.
Unfortunately, with full recovery for our industry still out of view, we had to take additional steps to ensure its ongoing financial sustainability as Paycheck Protection Program and other emergency funding ran out. Strathmore reduced its workforce by about a third (27 employees), not including those due to normal attrition. This also does not include the dedicated, hourly front of house and production colleagues, who have all been on furlough since the pandemic began. All remaining employees, except the Ticket Office Treasurer and 2 PT Ticket Office Associates, have suffered a reduction in their rate of compensation.
While we are still prohibited from opening our venues for live performances, we nonetheless remain flexible and have scaled staff (including Ticket Office colleagues from Local 868) up or down temporarily as opportunities to host limited-capacity activities arise. To support our recent fall outdoor installation, Strathmore re-hired part time staff across several departments, including union colleagues in our ticket office.
Strathmore was in the middle of bargaining with its Ticket Office colleagues from I.A.T.S.E Local 868, under an expired contract, when the pandemic began. Despite union allegations to the contrary, Strathmore has not engaged in union-busting activity, nor has it expressed any intention of dissolving the unit. Throughout the pandemic, we have continued to meet to negotiate and we remain committed to working with our team members from I.A.T.S.E. Local 868 to come to an agreement soon.
We could not have predicted the pandemic, but now that it has occurred, we must adapt. We take our responsibility to support all our workers’ rights very seriously, and we are eager to create a solution that is appropriate for this dramatically changed environment.