“Northwest Mgrs. and Union in Deadlock”

Artifact Type Sources, Trade Journals
Publication Variety
Number 10
Page Number 10
Place New York, NY
Publication Date September 21, 1927
Transcript Show/Hide

Headline: “Northwest Mgrs. and Union in Deadlock”

Subhead: Stage Hands Out After Disagreement Over New Employment Contract

Minneapolis, Sept. 20.

Although stagehands here and in St. Paul, members of the International Alliance ot Theatre Stage Employees Local, went on strike at midnight Saturday, all theatres In the twin cities with one exception thus far have been giving performances as usual. Policemen are stationed in front and back stage at the theatres and there was only one case of disorder reported Sunday. Stagehands now are appealing to national headquarters of other theatrical unions in an effort to have orders issued for the locals here to walk out In sympathy.

The strike—or walkout as the managers call it—resulted from failure of the stagehands and managers to agree on terms for a new contract. The managiers refused to meet the demands for improved working conditions and a readjustment ot wage* claiming that local business makes it impossible for them to shoulder the Increased operating costs which would ensue. Demand [sic] include one day oft In seven with pay necessitating’ the employment ot an additional swing man at each house; a guarantee ot to weeks’ minimum employment per ison at the Metropolitan, legitimate road show theatres in Minneapolis and St Paul, right of appeal for a man discharged by a theatre^ 13.75 per performance Instead ot $1.75 tor scene shifters, an increase ot tour In the personnel at the Palace and 8t Paul Lyceum, musical oomedy tab houaea, and a segregation of departments in tha theatres.

Last season’s contract expired eleven days ago, but the men continued on the job while meetings were being held with managers to try to reach a compromise. William Dunn, business manager of the local stagehands’ union, claims that at th^ end tha ttaion only insisted on the one day off wMi pay, tha right of appeal, and the pay boost for scene shifters.

William A. Stelles, president at the Northwest Theatre Owners’ Association, declares the men ara sttll demanding various wage Increases and that the right of dlschai-ge be taken from the theatre managers’ hands as well aa tha other concessions.

13 Houses Affected

Thirteen houses and about 105 employees are -jftected by the strike. Hastily assembled new stage crews wer^ on the job Sunday. Steffes claims that no strikebreakers have been Imported, but that the new crews have been recruited from among other theatre employees and the managers. At the Shubert (dramatic stock). Buzz Balnbridge, managing director and lessee, and two friends, struck the single set for “Hell’s Bells,” current attraction, early Sunday morning and he now constitutes the entire crew backstage.

The Sunday night performance of Mitzl in “The Madcap,” at the St. Paul Metropolitan, was called off and annbuncement made that the Shuberts themselves would take over the theatre for the week starting Monday’night and send in their own stage «rew. Because of the big production carried by the Ha^ Carroll Revue at the Orpheum slight difficulties arose.

The only disorder so far occurred Sunday morning when about tt strikers routed tha transfer men carrying the Carr&II stuff to the Orpheum stage. ‘ When the new stage crew attempted to handle the scenery and trunks there was a row.

Joseph aiwood, business agent ot the local motion picture operators^ afflllatcd with the stagehands’ union, has Intimated that the operators will strike In sympathy.

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Read In Context https://archive.org/stream/variety87-1927-09/Variety87-1927-09#page/n137/mode/2up
Citation “Northwest Mgrs. and Union in Deadlock,” Variety, September 21, 1927.
Location MinneapolisMinnesotaSaint Paul
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