United Kingdom - Choristers at English National Opera vote to strike - March 31, 2016

Choristers at English National Opera have voted to strike during the first act of Philip Glass’s Akhnaten in protest against a cut in contracts. Trade union Equity announced the action as the chorus sang Hail, Poetry from Gilbert & Sullivan’s Pirates of Penzance on the steps of Arts Council England’s headquarters in London. The national opera has been forced to make savings after the Arts Council [ACE] announced in 2014 it was cutting the opera company’s annual funding by £5m – or 30%. It wants to reduce the size of the chorus from 44 to 40 and move it from a 12-month to a nine-month contract. Union Equity argues that the contract changes could mean a 39% reduction in chorus members’ pay. Equity gave notice that the chorus would be taking action between 4 and 19 March 2016, which might include protests and refusing overtime. The strike action, for which the vote was unanimous, would be in the first act of Akhnaten, directed by Phelim McDermott.

English: http://www.theguardian.com/music/2016/feb/26/choristers-english-national-opera …  

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