Friday, October 12, 2007

Samnick The Seer

Seems this guy's crystal ball is working overtime (I wonder if that's billable hours). Hey Norm, any leader wants their legacy to be one of peace and prosperity. It's just that, unlike in boardrooms and law offices, a labor leader knows that the best way to leave a their union in better shape than before is to instill a fighting spirit. What better way than a highly publized punch-up in the middle of Times Square. And what better way to inspire the troops than to show them you have the power to close Broadway. That will leave in it's wake long term peace, prosperity and good morale. It's called a silver platter.

Some of Norm's predictions.

Published: September 15, 1993
From the Kennedy Center musicians' point of view, that is exactly what is at issue in their strike. The talks broke down when the center said it wanted to eliminate contract provisions that guarantee the orchestra's 61 players 10 weeks of ballet performances each season. "If we need 40 musicians," asked the center's lawyer, Norman Samnick, "why should we hire 61? If we have six weeks of work, why should we pay for 10?"

October 04, 2007
However, one attorney with extensive experience in labor matters said he does not believe the league is trying to send a message to the other unions. "I don't think that's the intent," said Norman Samnick, who has bargained against other IATSE chapters about 25 times on behalf of theatres and other venues around the country. "If they really mean what they say, they're going to say it, they're going to do it, and if it rubs off on the other unions, so be it. I don't think they're looking at it like 'I've got another six-shooter here and I'm going to use it on you.' "

Wed Oct 10, 5:09 PM ET
"This is a nervous time for everybody," said Norman Samnick, an entertainment lawyer who specializes in labor relations for Bryan Cave LLP. "Ultimately, it's about the first one to blink.

October 12. 2007 2:13PM
“Waiting till shows are loaded in is a good strategy,” says Norman Samnick, an attorney with Bryan Cave, who has negotiated against the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees in the past. “If the shows are loaded in, they could even operate without stagehands.”

(That is of course, if the actors and musicians crossed picket lines.)

The union is now getting ready to respond to anything the League decides to do. It is even taking steps to skirt the necessary permission to strike from Thomas Short, international president of IATSE. Mr. Short didn't return calls for comment, but theater executives say he doesn't want to authorize a strike.

“Tom is retiring next year and he doesn’t want a strike as his legacy,” Mr. Samnick says. “He doesn’t want to be known as the guy who closed Broadway.”

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