NYC's Met opera still negotiating with 10 unions

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

NEW YORK (AP) — Contract negotiations are continuing between New York's Metropolitan Opera and 10 of its unions to avert a lockout.

Shortly before a 12:01 a.m. Wednesday deadline, Met spokesman Sam Neuman said there was "nothing to report" about ongoing talks with unions representing stagehands, carpenters and other artisans.

The musicians of the two largest Met unions reached tentative four-year deals Monday.

Met general manager Peter Gelb demanded pay cuts of about 17 percent, citing skyrocketing production costs and shrinking audiences. Union members countered that such a radical move was unwarranted on a $2.8 million deficit against a $326 million budget. They say Gelb wasted many millions on failed productions.

The orchestra and chorus agreed to cuts of 3.5 percent and 3.5 percent more within six months.