Broadway League Responds to Casting Directors' Plea for Healthcare

By: May. 25, 2017
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Broadway might be celebrating a successful season, but casting directors still are not pleased with their standing in the theatre community. As BroadwayWorld reported this morning, the Teamsters Local 817 union released a statement concerning their lack of benefits. They write: "The Broadway League has refused to bargain a first contract with casting directors, members of Teamsters Local 817, denying them employer-provided healthcare, retirement, and basic work protections."

Now the Broadway League has released a statement in response:

The Broadway League respects and appreciates the work of casting directors and their valuable contributions to our Broadway productions. Casting directors that are owners or employees of casting companies, however, are not employees of our shows. Like other vendors such as advertising agencies, accountants and lawyers, whose collaborations we also value, casting companies are engaged as independent contractors; they are separate businesses with their own employees and typically work on more than one show at a time within and outside our industry.

We have had a respectful dialogue in the past year with Teamsters Local 817 but do not believe it would be appropriate for the Broadway League or its producing members to recognize a union as the bargaining representative of professionals who are not employees of our productions. To the extent that Local 817 or the casting companies themselves disagree, we have encouraged them to seek a determination from the National Labor Relations Board, which is the appropriate forum to resolve disputes of this nature. We have even made clear to the union that we are prepared to expedite an NLRB process.