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Carnegie Hall Hires A New Stage Hand to End Strike

Carnegie Hall
Carnegie Hall at 57th Street and 7th Avenue. Photographer: Peter Kramer/Getty Images

Unionized stagehands embraced outside Carnegie Hall today after they ended a strike that netted them a new fulltime position at the storied performance venue.

Carnegie Hall will hire a sixth fulltime stagehand, said Synneve Carlino, a Carnegie Hall spokesman, in an e-mail.

There are now five, who according to the hall’s tax return earned an average of $420,000 in 2011, when including benefits and overtime from working its three stages.

The new full-timer will work in the upstairs 61,000-square-foot education wing that’s scheduled to open in late 2014. It will have 24 music rooms “where people will have the opportunity to meet, learn, explore and share musical experiences,” according to Carnegie Hall. The wing doesn’t include a stage.

The new stagehand will be paid based on a separate contract for the wing, Carlino said in an e-mail, without elaborating.

The settlement appears to be a victory for the powerful union, which was responsible for closing much of Broadway during a 19-day strike in 2007. As he accepted hugs from his members, James J. Claffey, Jr., the president of Local One of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, described the agreement as a compromise.

“We will have some presence up there,” Claffey said.

Carnegie Hall said Local One will have “limited jurisdiction” in the new wing.

Bell Muted

Claffey called the strike on Wednesday, which forced the cancellation of the opening night concert featuring the Philadelphia Orchestra and Joshua Bell.

In an interview, Claffey said he didn’t think the stagehand pay affected public opinion about the strike. “We weren’t negotiating for the full-time guys to make more money,” he said.

Clive Gillinson, Carnegie Hall’s executive and artistic director, earned $1.1 million in 2011. The chief financial officer, Richard Matlaga, made $429,000 in pay and benefits.

Muse highlights include Jeremy Gerard on theater, Zinta Lundborg on New York City weekend.

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