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Season 4, Episode 50

Shindle: Performers win big with recent Broadway negotiations

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Guest Name:

Kate Shindle

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Kate Shindle, President of the Actors’ Equity Association, joined the America’s Work Force Union Podcast and talked about a recently signed Collective Bargaining Agreement with Broadway theaters and organizing attempts in California.

Shindle, who held the title of Miss America in 1998, is the youngest AEA president and only the third female president in the association’s history. The AEA is a national organization that represents approximately 51,000 active members who are actors, stage managers and other individuals who work in the entertainment industry.

She spoke about recently completed contract negotiations on behalf of Broadway performers, which Shindle called difficult. Theaters are hurting financially, as audiences sizes have not returned to pre-pandemic levels. As a compromise, the new CBA encompasses a shorter period and includes staggered wage increases to help offset the loss of income. She feels major gains were made in diversity, equity and inclusion efforts.

Other entertainment workers are going through similar fights, she noted. A group of exoctic dancers from the Star Garden in Los Angeles and lecturers from the Griffith Observatory are attempting to organize with the AEA and are seeing various degrees of success, Shindle said.

Shindle then explained the importance of Swing Day. In the entertainment industry, a swing is a performer trained to fill and perform multiple roles during a single performance. Many swings are trained to handle roles for different genders and ages. Shindle called swings irreplaceable, which is why the AEA Advisory Committee created Swing Day to honor them.

She also discussed the fight for increased live arts funding in California, as smaller theaters have struggled since the pandemic. 

Listen to the entire episode to learn more.

America’s Work Force is the only daily labor podcast in the US and has been on the air since 1993, supplying listeners with useful, relevant input into their daily lives through fact-finding features, in-depth interviews, informative news segments and practical consumer reports. America’s Work Force is committed to providing an accessible venue in which America's workers and their families can hear discussion on important, relevant topics such as employment, healthcare, legislative action, labor-management relations, corporate practices, finances, local and national politics, consumer reports and labor issues.

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