Skip to main content Skip to footer site map

Actors' Equity Files for National Labor Relations Board Election on Behalf of WAITRESS Tour

Non-union workers are earning a third of their counterparts on the Equity Waitress production.

Waitress (Non-Eq)

Actors' Equity Association, the national labor union representing more than 51,000 professional actors and stage managers in live theatre, has filed with the National Labor Relations Board to bargain on behalf of the actors and stage managers of the national tour of Waitress. This move follows a card campaign in which the workers demonstrated their desire to have Equity represent them. The card campaign was Equity's first in more than a decade.

"We are proud of the work we are doing bringing this wonderful show to audiences across the country," said members of the non-Equity tour company. "But the work we do is the same work our friends in the Equity tour do, so we are asking our employers why we can't be treated with the same respect. We have tried to work with management to improve our conditions on multiple fronts and have come to the conclusion that we need a union to work on our behalf. We now appreciate Equity helping us come together as a company and showing us a clear pathway to fair treatment."

"The stage managers and actors at Waitress know they deserve better," said Al Vincent, Jr., executive director of Actors' Equity Association. "Touring in a musical like this is extraordinarily hard work, and doubly so during a pandemic. These workers deserve a decent wage and safe working conditions, and it's brave of them to take a stand and say so. This particular situation is especially egregious because of the existence of an Equity tour running right alongside them. That's why Equity reached out to see if we could help.

"It's shameful that the non-union production pays its workers a third of what the company of the Equity tour makes. And it's galling that these employers have even used videos of the non-union actors to teach their roles to their union counterparts. Clearly, the workers in both productions are equally talented and hardworking, doing the exact same job for different audiences. For equal work, they should receive equal protections and equal pay."

For this card campaign, Equity organizers gathered authorization cards from a critical mass of actors and stage managers on the Waitress tour designating Equity to negotiate on their behalf with their employer. Equity has filed for an election with the National Labor Relations Board, and pending election results, can begin bargaining with NETworks.

Related Stories
AEA Files Double-Breasting Grievance Against WAITRESS Producers Photo
Actors’ Equity Association has opened a grievance against Barry and Fran Weissler and the National Artists Management Company (NAMCO), the licensors of Waitress, for double-breasting – profiting from union and non-union workers at the same time. 

WAITRESS is Coming to the Jacksonville Center for the Performing Arts Photo
WAITRESS the Musical, presented by the FSCJ Artist Series’ Broadway Encore sponsored by VyStar Credit Union will perform on Friday, April 29th, 2022, at the Jacksonville Center for the Performing Arts  (formerly the Times-Union Center).

WAITRESS to Play Limited Engagement at Winspear Opera House Photo
AT&T Performing Arts Center has announced WAITRESS will play Winspear Opera House for a limited 5-day engagement! The diner opens up May 10-15, 2022!

WAITRESS National Tour is Coming to the Times-Union Center for One Night Only Photo
The FSCJ Artist Series will present WAITRESS, sponsored by Vystar Credit Union, at the Times-Union Center for one night only, April 29, 2022 at 8:00 p.m.

More Hot Stories For You

Playwright Sarah Mantell Wins The 2023 Susan Smith Blackburn PrizePlaywright Sarah Mantell Wins The 2023 Susan Smith Blackburn Prize
March 27, 2023

The 2023 Susan Smith Blackburn Prize has been awarded to U.S. playwright Sarah Mantell for their play In the Amazon Warehouse Parking Lot.

Actors' Equity Association and League of Resident Theatres Reach New Five-Year AgreementActors' Equity Association and League of Resident Theatres Reach New Five-Year Agreement
March 27, 2023

Actors’ Equity Association and the League of Resident Theatres have reached a tentative agreement for a new five-year contract. 

Metcalf, Maslany & Sparks Led GREY HOUSE Sets Complete Cast & Creative TeamMetcalf, Maslany & Sparks Led GREY HOUSE Sets Complete Cast & Creative Team
March 27, 2023

Final casting has been revealed for the terrifying New York premiere of Grey House by Levi Holloway, directed by two-time Tony Award winner Joe Mantello. See who is starring, and learn how to purchase tickets!

CHICAGO Has Best Non-Holiday Performance Week In the Show's 26 Year HistoryCHICAGO Has Best Non-Holiday Performance Week In the Show's 26 Year History
March 27, 2023

Chicago, Broadway’s longest running American Musical, had its highest grossing non-holiday performance week in the show’s 26-year history.

WHITE GIRL IN DANGER to Host Special 'Soap Opera Night' PerformanceWHITE GIRL IN DANGER to Host Special 'Soap Opera Night' Performance
March 27, 2023

Vineyard Theatre and Second Stage Theater will host a special SOAP OPERA NIGHT performance of WHITE GIRL IN DANGER on Tuesday, March 28 at 7pm, co-hosted by Soap Opera Digest.