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Williamstown Theatre Festival Sound Crew Walks Out

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Keith Broughton:
I would like to preface my comment by saying I don't condone venues running crews down with bad work conditions.
That said, if you don't like the schedules or pay, "no" is an option.
To continue to work in bad conditions, (safety, pay or call times) you are giving tacit approval to the employer and helping them get away with whatever they want.
In this case, without a union, this crew managed to change the situation and good for them!
It's just unfortunate that the management allowed a poor working condition to develop in the first place >:(

Caleb Dueck:

--- Quote from: Keith Broughton on July 24, 2021, 07:25:25 AM ---That said, if you don't like the schedules or pay, "no" is an option.

--- End quote ---

It's not quite that simple.  One person quitting doesn't do jack to fix the real problems.  Most/all of the people quitting together - might.

I used to work for a very poorly owned company.  1/3 of the company walked out - got the owner's attention, but nothing changed.  Another 1/3 walked out, including myself, started another company, and most clients followed us.  Got his attention big time - but nothing changed.  Another 1/3 walked out - nothing changed.  It's easy to fire an employee or quit; it's harder to fire the owner. 

Justice C. Bigler:
So I got another piece of information this evening, from an associate who knows one of the sound crew members that walked out.

The first individual who walked out, the one who was quoted by name in the LA Times article is an IA member, and was formerly on tour with a Broadway show. That person took this position because it was some amount of work when none existed elsewhere because of the shut down. That person also chose to leave and not come back to the Festival (even after the pay bump). Apparently, once that person left, the others decided to follow.

Keith Broughton:

--- Quote from: Caleb Dueck on July 24, 2021, 10:47:30 PM ---It's not quite that simple.  One person quitting doesn't do jack to fix the real problems.

--- End quote ---
Of course, one person walking out won't change the business model of a company. I wasn't suggesting that it did.
However, staying at the job and bitching and complaining won't change anything either.
Sometimes, one has to decide to look for other opportunities.
In this case, they were able to get some results by working together, and good on them.

John Fruits:
It seems there are a few misleading things in the LAtimes article.  The 8 hour turn-around and maximum 10 hour shift weren't new, they were already in place at the start of the season, it's just that managment  stated that they would no longer violate those terms!  The pay raises were for a limited number of the hourly workers.  There were no pay raises for salaried staff members.  Oh and the forfeiture of OT was still in effect for them too.  The housing fee was $200 per week for a shared dorm room. 


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