By Brendan O'Brien
Jan 7 (Reuters) - The National Labor Relations Board's Tampa
office on Friday approved a $2.2 million settlement ending a
decade-long dispute between a Florida performing arts center and
a union representing stage employees.
The Raymond F. Kravis Center for the Performing Arts in West
Palm Beach will pay the money to 248 employees represented by
the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees,
AFL-CIO, Local 500.
The employees will be paid in two installments, on Jan. 15
and on Jan. 15, 2014, the board said in a statement.
"I think we as well as the union are glad to have the
dispute behind us," said Stephen Schuster, an attorney for the
"Both sides are looking forward to a working relationship
that is to the mutual benefit of both parties," Schuster, of
Constangy, Brooks & Smith in Kansas City, Missouri, said.
Attorneys for the stage employee union were unavailable to
The relationship began to deteriorate in 2000 when the
center fired six stagehands, refused to recognize the union and
declared an impasse in negotiations, according to the AFL-CIO.
The union filed a complaint with the NLRB, which in 2001 found
the Kravis Center was in violation of federal labor laws.
In 2007, the NLRB ruled the center violated federal labor
law by failing to bargain to an impasse with the union by
unilaterally changing wages, conditions of employment and
refusing to hire union workers for more than 700 productions
In July, the union filed a new complaint, alleging unfair
labor practices on the part of the center in 2011 and 2012. The
union withdrew those new allegations as part of the final
settlement, the NLRB said.
On Dec. 19, the Kravis Center canceled the opening night and
the next day's matinee performance of "Jersey Boys" because
crews working the show refused to cross union picket lines,
according to local media.
Four shows in all were canceled during a four-day strike
that ended on Dec. 21, when both sides signed a five-year
collective bargaining agreement. The agreement stipulated that
the venue will recognize unionized workers and will hire workers
through the union.
In accordance with the final settlement, three department
heads were also reinstated, according to the NLRB.
The National Labor Relations Board Case is 06-CA-036484,
For Kravis Center For The Performing Arts: Charles Roberts,
Kimberly Seten, Robert Janowitz and Stephen Schuster of
Constangy, Brooks & Smith; and Jeffrey Pheterson of Ward, Damon,
Posner, Pheterson & Bleau.
For International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees:
Matthew Mierzwa of Mierzwa & Associates.
For NLRB: Jill Griffin, David Seid, Ronald Meisburg, John
Higgins, John Ferguson and Linda Dreeben of NLRB.
Follow us on Twitter @ReutersLegal | Like us on Facebook