News & Politics

Kennedy Center Avoids Strike This Weekend

Performances will continue as planned

DC's Kennedy Center. Photo courtesy of iStock.

The Kennedy Center managed to avoid a strike of its stage workers this weekend, coming to an agreement with their union on Saturday. International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees Local 22 and Kennedy Center management were able shake hands on a three-year contract that “includes modest increases in wages and benefits by the end of the contract, and addresses various other terms and conditions of employment,” according to a Kennedy Center press release.

Stagehands had been threatening to strike if Kennedy Center management continued to refuse some of their demands (among them being the sole provider for stagehand work for performances at the REACH), and vowed to set up picket lines that could lead to a delay or cancellation of the Center’s upcoming run of Hadestown.

“This was a long hard slog, but we now have a contract we can live with that protects our members and gives the Kennedy Center the relief it needs to recover from the pain caused by the pandemic,” IATSE Local 22 President David McIntyre said in a press release. “…throughout our 50-year history, the stagehands have always played a very important role here at the Kennedy Center,” Kennedy Center President Deborah Rutter said in a press release. “The caliber and technical expertise of our stagehands, in addition to their sheer dedication, are truly essential to the Kennedy Center’s ability to deliver world-class performances day after day, night after night.”

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Jane Recker
Assistant Editor

Jane is a Chicago transplant who now calls Cleveland Park her home. Before joining Washingtonian, she wrote for Smithsonian Magazine and the Chicago Sun-Times. She is a graduate of Northwestern University, where she studied journalism and opera.