Monday, October 26, 2009


An editorial from the Trib Review sparked an influx of emails into the HUDDLER's in box.

Apparently the HUDDLER should have joined the stage crew in high school and moved to New York City to pursue the dream of a 500K per year UNION JOB!

This isn't the first time the issue has come up. Back in 2000 the NY DAILY NEWS did an article. And now just recently Bloomberg News did an article. Apparently there are a few jobs that make this kind of money.

First, it is important to note that the "Executive Director" of Carnegie Hall makes almost a million buck per year. (high 900s, unknown if this includes benefits or straight cash).

The positions noted in this article are all "department directors'. These positions are managers, who are covered under the bargaining agreement. (Much like every firefighter other than the chief is covered under the Pittsburgh Fire contract.)These are not grunts. These guys are in charge of overseeing major productions, millions of dollars of equipment, and hudreds of employees, along with budgetary and managerial type duties.

Next these guys are working 80 plus hours per week. The same crew does the afternoon practice, and then the same show that night. In some cases there are two and three performances per day. This makes for LONG days. Often these crews work the entire run of the show, which means they may work 10 days or more without a day off, at 20 hours per day.

Granted. No one can work 24/7. Are there down periods? Rest periods? Is there a place to take a nap? The HUDDLER is certain of this. But as the saying goes, the show must go on !

The other interesting part of this is that this is not only limited to Carnegie Hall, apparently there are other venues with similar wages, and costs. This is apparently the industry norm.

Out on the west coast, the LA TIMES reports that dollar for dollar and hour per hour the stage hands out west make even more per hour. However they apparently are working less hours than their union brothers in NYC.

Now this doesn't mean that any of these guys or gals (haha a little stage humor) are taking home 500K in cash. According to the Business Insider a major portion (25 percent) is deferred compensaton and taxable benefits.

For those of you out there in the Burgh that know how to read and write, (the huddler does not claim to know how to do either effectively) here is the TAX RETURN of the Carnegie Music Hall.

The cost of living in NYC is insane. Try living close enough to commute and raise a family, while putting in 80 hours per week. These workers are UNION. They clearly have a strong contract. A contract with benefits such as meal allowances, double time, and triple time for Holidays and performing skilled electrical, and carpentry skills.

Don't judge a stage hand until you walk a mile in a stage hands work boots ...

The Trib Review loves to take any opportunity to kick workers around, OR bad mouth unions. Mr. Scaiffe's reputation as a right wing zealot who was fortunate enough to be born into wealth that was made off the blood, sweat, tears, and lives of immigrant workers preceeds him. The HUDDLER is looking to adopt a finch or two, only so that he can line the bird cage with this rag of a periodical.

Don't judge a spoiled rich kid until you have a billion dollars in the bank and don't care about any living creature other than yourself. The HUDDLER laughs out loud seeing how this article was a direct attack on workers, mean while the guys making this money are all "BOSSES" who benefit from the union. Much like the many non-union workers who enjoy the many benefits that were the fruits of organized labor and now enjoyed by all. Some say that workers have too much, that Americans are fat and lazy. Mean while Americans come up short when compared to our European counterparts. Many Americans have no paid time off, and lack quality affordable healthcare, or pension system. If we want to be competitive on a global scale, we need a level playing field with other nations. Another example of why we need healthcare reform with a public option!

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