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The New York Metropolitan Opera is on the verge of a lockout if a contract agreement can’t be reached within the week.
The Met has threatened to lock its doors to all employees besides non-unionized administrative employees if a new contract isn’t in place by the time the current contracts for 15 unions expire on July 31, reports Reuters.
“I sincerely hope to avoid such an unfortunate event, but the Met cannot continue on its current economic path; we must find cost reductions,” wrote Peter Gelb, the Met’s general manager, in a letter to employees.
The Met’s budget is on shaky grounds due to last season’s deficit of $2.8 million, reports The Associated Press. With continuing drops in box office revenue, along with increasing costs, it’s clear something has to change.
However, a complete shutdown is not the best solution. The stoppage of rehearsals and preparations for the 2014-2015 season could result in a “lost season and a long-term loss of operagoers and subscribers for years to come,” said Joe Hartnett, a spokesman for the International Alliance of Theatrical State Employees.
The future of the Met hangs in the balance as negotiations with union workers continue.
Image via Kristin Callahan/ACE/INFphoto.com