Stagehands' Union Authorizes Strike That May Shutter Broadway Theaters

The president of the international stagehands union officially authorized a Broadway strike Thursday but declined to set a date for it, the union said.

The authorization comes a day after Local 1 and the League of American Theatres and Producers resumed talks that had stalled after both sides presented what they said were their last and best offers.

The two sides, wrangling over work rules and staffing requirements, have been meeting since summer in an effort to reach a deal. A strike could shut down most Broadway theaters.

According to the union Web site, Thomas C. Short, president of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employes, gave the authorization and plans to advise the local union of a start date.

A representative for the league said it had not been notified of the move by the union and declined to comment further. A union representative also declined to comment.

Union members voted unanimously Oct. 21 to give Local 1 the authority to call a strike.