Stagehands' Union Is On Strike Over Dispute About New Education Facility

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The show did not go on as planned Wednesday night at Carnegie Hall due to a strike by the stagehands’ union.

As WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond reported, the concert hall said the season-opening performance Wednesday by The Philadelphia Orchestra with violinist Joshua Bell has been called off. Future performances remain on schedule.

On the Seventh Avenue side of Carnegie Hall, the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees Union has put up a giant inflatable rat to emphasize its members’ grievances.

Stagehands’ union president James Claffey said the dispute centers around Carnegie Hall management’s reluctance to give the union jurisdiction over the new education wing at the facility.

“They spent $230 million on this space,” Claffey said. “We don’t know why we’re excluded.”

But Carnegie Hall said such a move would divert funds from its music education programs and into stagehand fees.

Ticketholders can request refunds. Future performances may also be in jeopardy if no agreement is reached.

Meanwhile, the Philadelphia Orchestra instead plans a free “pop up” concert Wednesday evening at its Kimmel Center home.

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