PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The union representing about a thousand theatre stagehands and other workers have reached a tentative contract deal with the Kimmel Center and its managed venues in center city Philadelphia.

At the announcement this morning on the Avenue of the Arts, Michael Barnes of IATSE Local 8 called Kimmel Center president and CEO Anne Ewers “our star” as he presented her with a bouquet of flowers for her work in the negotiations and the start of a new contract.

“As we do at most openings, we hope it’s a good one,” Barnes said. “We believe that this will be a good one.”

Barnes says it’s a three-year deal for  the stagehands, ushers, wardrobe workers, and box office workers at the Kimmel, the Merriam Theatre, and the Academy of Music.

“There was some wage increases in each of the years,” Barnes added, “parity with the wardrobe local, along with protecting the ushers and the work that they were doing here.  The social media aspects to increase the business was also a major benchmark.”

Other than being called “modest,” the details of the wage increase were not immediately disclosed by either side.

Kimmel Center officials added that all performances — other than two previously canceled Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia concerts on October 16th and 17th — will take place as scheduled.


Reported by John McDevitt, KYW Newsradio 1060