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City Opera Singers File Complaint to Stop Lincoln Center Exit

George Steel
George Steel, general manager and artistic director of the New York City Opera. Source: New York City Opera via Bloomberg

May 26 (Bloomberg) -- The union representing New York City Opera singers sought to block the troubled company’s plans to leave its Lincoln Center home, saying the opera violated the singers’ collective-bargaining rights by not consulting them.

The American Guild of Musical Artists, which represents singers, stage directors and stage managers, filed the charge today with the National Labor Relations Board.

Last week George Steel, the company’s general manager and artistic director, said the company plans to leave the David H. Koch Theater for a less costly home. It also plans to eliminate employment guarantees for singers, according to the guild.

“This announcement was made without any prior notification to, or bargaining with, the union,” the guild said in its complaint, which was distributed to the press. “To date, the company continues to refuse to bargain about the decision to relocate and the effects of the relocation on the bargaining unit.”

Maggie McKeon, a spokeswoman for City Opera, didn’t return an e-mail or call.

To contact the writer on this story: Philip Boroff in New York at pboroff@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Manuela Hoelterhoff at mhoelterhoff@bloomberg.net.

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