Contract negotiations between the League of American Theaters and Producers and the Broadway stagehands' union are at a standstill.
Marketplace's Amy Scott says the stagehands have been working without a contract since July. The impass involves "load ins" — when equipment is brought into the Broadway theaters. Producers say the rules are archaic and require them to be pay the union members even when there is no work to do.
If an agreement is not reached, the producers could decide to lock out the stagehands, effectively shutting down most theaters, Scott says. For now, the producers have the upper hand because they can order a lockout any time. It would take the union longer to arrange a strike.
But as the holiday season nears, Scott says, the union could gain the stronger position because that is the most profitable time of the year for theaters.
And a strike or a lockout would hurt more than the theaters. It would impact local restaurants and shops that draw theatergoers to their businesses.
Scott talks to Alex Cohen about what happens if Broadway stages go silent.