Striking members of a local stagehand union walked alongside Martin Luther King Jr. Day marchers on Monday as they braved the weather and made it to The Arlington Theatre for a celebration honoring the civil rights leader’s life.
Local 442 of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, Moving Picture Technicians, Artists and Allied Crafts is boycotting The Arlington’s live shows — which included Saturday’s Charlie Rose show and Monday’s MLK celebrations — because of failed contract negotiations.
Events have been staffed by nonunion workers since contract talks stalled, although Wednesday’s Jesus Christ Superstar will demand at least 60 people, said Eric Moore, the union chapter’s vice president.
Union members gathered by the State Street entrance’s ticket booth on Monday dressed for the rain and held soaked fliers, but they didn’t have signs or approach people coming into the theater.
Moore said community events such as Monday’s celebrations aren’t what they want to picket — especially since King was behind unions. They wanted their presence on Monday to go more unnoticed and be low-key as opposed to other picketed live shows.
There are about 60 employees in the local chapter, and the union has been in negotiations with Metropolitan Theatre Corp., which owns local movie theaters and The Arlington.
The company’s various movie theaters are unaffected by the strike, and since The Arlington is the company’s only stage for live shows, it’s the only one affected by the contract dispute.
All shows at The Arlington will go on as scheduled, according to the company’s corporate office.
Moore said that as of Monday afternoon, there had been no advances in negotiations.
— Noozhawk staff writer Giana Magnoli can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.