Lately, the ballet scene in New York City has been the talk of the town; between Peter Martins and Marcelo Gomes (who have both been accused of a form of sexual misconduct), there’s been an influx of troublesome headlines. And unfortunately, it doesn’t look like smooth sailing ahead. The dancers and stage managers of the American Ballet Theater are considering a strike.
The ABT dancers and stagehands are up in arms, as they’ve been trying to negotiate new contracts since last April. So, what gives? Well, it seems that there is a disagreement in regards to the retirement contributions. After the last recession, the ABT management significantly lowered their contribution to the workers’ retirement plans from 7.5% to 3.75%. The dancers and stage managers are asking for an increase in contribution, and they have agreed to go on strike if the contract fails to meet their requests.
This news comes just before the company is due to go on tour! They have plans to begin in the U.S at the end of the month, and then they are expected to be in Asia by March. If the strike takes place, we may not see ABT performing at all. Hopefully, this dispute works out for the benefit of everyone. After all, we want to see the stars take the stage, but we also want them to have the retirement they deserve. After all of their hard work and long days spent practicing, a solid retirement is just what the doctor ordered.