The New York Times reported the stagehands went on their first strike in Carnegie Hall history Wednesday.
The venue's opening-night gala, which was to have featured the Philadelphia Orchestra and violinist Joshua Bell, was canceled Wednesday night as a result.
"We are disappointed that, despite the fact that the stagehands have one of the most lucrative contracts in the industry, they are now seeking to expand their jurisdiction beyond the concert hall and into the new education wing in ways that would compromise Carnegie Hall's education mission," Clive Gillinson, Carnegie Hall's executive and artistic director, said in a statement. "There is no precedent for this anywhere in New York City."
James J. Claffey Jr., president of the union, Local 1 of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, said in a statement Carnegie Hall Corp. "has spent or will spend $230 million on its ongoing studio tower renovation, but they have chosen not to appropriately employ our members as we are similarly employed throughout the rest of Carnegie Hall."
The Times said the venue has argued the 24 new music rooms will be for practicing, teaching and holding events for children and shouldn't fall under the stagehands' purview because they are educational, not theatrical, in nature.