“Labor Troubles Threaten”

Artifact Type Sources, Trade Journals
Publication Motion Picture News
Volume XXXVI
Number 8
Page Number 582
Place New York, NY
Publication Date August 26, 1927
Transcript Show/Hide

Headline: “Labor Troubles Threaten”

Subhead: Efforts Being Made to Settle Differences Before Contracts Expire

WITH present contracts expiring August 31st, labor troubles again loom as a great menace to exhibitors in many parts of the United States. It is feared in some quarters that there is such a variance between amounts asked by union workers and those set by the exhibitors that there are bound to be a number of walkouts.

Conditions have changed during the past year, according to many of the exhibitors and if the unions insist upon increases a large number of houses will be either forced to close or do without ‘musicians or union labor help. In some places exhibitors are oven demanding that the union men accept a reduction in wages.

In the Twin Cities the unions are declared to be on the defensive with the theatres insisting upon a reduction in wages because of poor business caused by a general slump. The exhibitor unit is conferring with musicians, operators and stage hands in an effort to induce them that a cut is imperative if theatres are to continue to operate with union labor.

The agreement in Seattle between musicians, stage hands and operators and the exhibitors expires September 1st. Wage increases are demanded from all quarters and a lively fight is anticipated. Another demand is for the retention of the present existing minimum labor rule, where the number of employees is determined by seating capacity.

In Washington, D. C, the demand of the musicians is for a 20 per cent increase, bringing the scale from $67 to $85 a week. A series of meetings have been held between the theatre owners and musicians and the owners have declared emphatically they will not meet the new demands. Every effort is being made, however, to defer a strike.

The threatened silence of the thirty-five neighborhood motion picture theatres controlled by members of the St. Louis Motion Picture Exhibitors League has been averted through an agreement reached by the theatre owners with officials of the Musicians’ Union for a reduction in the orchestral personnel of the theatre. The arrangement finally reached is a compromise of the original demand of the theatre owners, who asked for lower wages, a reduction in orchestras and an extension of the Summer season for two weeks, or until September 1.

Under the new plan the orchestras of all the theatres having 850 seats or less will be reduced one man each. Theatres in the 850-seat class will have orchestras of three pieces instead of four, and those with 500 seats or less can be operated with a pianist instead of two pieces of music.

The Summer season is also extended for the two weeks closing on September 1 instead of August 15 as fonnerly. Houses that rate more than 850 seats are not atfected by the new agreement with the Musicians Union.

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Citation “Labor Troubles Threaten,” Motion Picture News, August 26, 1927.
Location MinneapolisMinnesotaSaint PaulSeattleWashingtonWashington DC
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