Leaders of 39 Unions Demand Fairness for Broadway Casting Directors
The New York City Central Labor Council, AFL-CIO executive board of 39 unions from across the city wrote a letter to Broadway League Chairman Robert Wankel today, demanding fair treatment for theater’s casting directors. The coalition of unions, collectively representing more than one million workers in the public sector, hospitality, construction, healthcare, and other key industries, gave their support for the casting directors’ campaign for healthcare, retirement, and a union.
“New York is a union town, and nowhere more so than Broadway,” the letter reads. “It is troubling, therefore, that Broadway producers are denying casting directors the same union rights that every other worker on Broadway enjoys.”
Broadway casting directors have been organizing for more than a year with Teamsters Local 817, which has represented casting directors in the film and television industry for a decade. The labor unions’ letter came two days after Broadway’s producers sued their casting directors and called their union campaign a “cartel.”
“Broadway casting directors are organizing because they believe in the value of their work, and they are coming together to fight for their rights as workers,” said Vincent Alvarez, President of the New York City Central Labor Council, AFL-CIO. “These hardworking men and women aren’t alone in this fight. They have the support of the entire New York City labor movement behind them, and we are willing to stand with them as long as it takes for them to get the benefits and union representation they deserve.”