Tentative Agreement Reached

Announcement scheduled for later today

Tuesday, March 11, 2003

Broadway musicians and show producers reached a tentative agreement this morning, an agreement which may end the strike that shut down 18 musicals since last week. There will be a joint announcement later this morning attended by Mayor Michael Bloomberg. The mayor opened up Gracie Mansion to the two sides, who bargained for nearly 12 hours through the night.

There are no details as of yet on terms of the deal.

The negotiations began around 9PM on Monday but the strike started on Friday after talks between the League of American Theatres and Local 802 of the American Federation of Musicians broke down.

The dispute was over minimums, how many musicians are required for a Broadway orchestra. The size of the theater sets that figure so the largest houses currently require 24 to 26 musicians. The producers initially demanded no minimums, then offered seven, then 15 but the musicians' union refused the proposal.

According to theater and tourism officials, Broadway's total economic contribution to the city is more than $4 billion a year. Those officials also estimate that businesses that depend on theatergoers lost more than $7 million over the weekend.

The negotiations were mediated by Frank Macchiarola, president of St. Francis College and a former city schools chancellor.

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