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August 12, 2014

Metropolitan Opera Sets New Deadline for Contract Talks

The Metropolitan Opera has set a Sunday deadline for reaching new labor agreements with workers whose contracts expired at the end of July, The New York Times reports.

The new date was announced Monday by the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service, which has joined the talks with the two unions representing musicians, singers, stage directors, and others. The service said the negotiations, which have been suspended while an independent analyst reviews the opera company's books, would resume this week.

Facing budget deficits and dwindling ticket revenue, the Met is seeking large cuts in labor costs and has threatened to lock out workers who do not agree to concessions. The union representing stagehands said its talks with the Met broke off on July 31 after Peter Gelb, the opera's general manager, rejected workers' offer of a pay freeze. That union is not part of the mediation process.