Intermezzo appears surprised by the announcement when a “conciliation meeting” is scheduled next week that will open a “negotiation process”
The workers of the Intermezzo Choir of the Teatro Real, an external choir that acts as owner through the Intermezzo Association, have announced a strike for September 22, 23 and 25, when performances of the opera ‘Medea’ will take place, to denounce their “precarious” employment situation.
The Business Committee of the Teatro Real Choir reported this Saturday, in a statement published on its social networks, that partial strikes have been called for the aforementioned days from 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., and, in addition, a strike will be held on the 5th and October 6, when the quality tests of its members would be carried out.
This call, which has the support of 93.8% of the choir workers and occurs at the opening of the season of the opera coliseum, responds to a “very precarious” employment situation. “We consider that our contracts have abusive clauses, and the lack of an agreement could be added to this fact,” the workers denounced in their statement.
In this sense, they have indicated that in the 14 years of activity, Intermezzo “has never agreed to negotiate any aspect” of the contracts.
Likewise, they have pointed to a situation of “labor abuse” in the company’s “quality standards” policy, which carries out “controls every two or three years”, according to a clause with “negative connotations” in the opinion of the workers. They have indicated that these controls lead to “multiple dismissals”, including those of “two members of the works council”, and have pointed out that, in addition, the company “intends to avoid the economic cost” of these.
“That is, personnel who could be uncomfortable, some with seniority since 2009, according to it (the company’s policy), would go to the streets without any type of economic compensation. All of this according to the criteria of a court of members of the company and staff of the Teatro Real itself”, have criticized.
In this context, the workers have assured that the president of Intermezzo told the committee that “he intends that the average age of the choir is not high” because this “is detrimental to the artistic quality” of the choir by considering that “there is a decrease in vocal and stage performance”. The average would be around 40 years.
The workers have specified that there are currently lawsuits against Intermezzo for labor-related issues and have warned that having filed these lawsuits marks the employees as “uncomfortable for the company.” “Quality tests could be a weapon for any dismissal or intimidation of the current or future group,” they have warned, to target issues such as “continuous schedule changes, lack of family conciliation or abusive working hours during actions outside the Community of Madrid “.
Finally, they have asked for support for the strike against Intermezzo’s “professional formula” that “offers choirs and singers on demand” and “hides these types of conditions.”
INTERMEZZO, SURPRISED BY THE CALL
For its part, the management of the Intermezzo Association has expressed, in a statement, its surprise at the call for a strike when a date has already been set next week to hold a “conciliation meeting” before the Labor Authority. At this meeting a negotiation process will be opened in which it is hoped to reach an agreement.
In response to the accusations from the workers of the titular choir, Intermezzo has also pointed out that all the company’s employees are affiliated to the Collective Agreement of Dance, Circus, Variety and Folklore professionals of the Community of Madrid, and has stressed that “all and each of the clauses of the employment contracts are within current legislation.
Furthermore, he pointed out that the company’s quality standards “are based on the artistic level of its workers.” “The Intermezzo Choir is an elite choir as befits one of the best theaters in the world. The periodic evaluation of the performance of its work is necessary through the evaluation of courts of accredited experience in the world of opera, which is common in all choirs of their level”, he explained in this regard.
Finally, the Intermezzo Association recalled that, in any case, the premiere of ‘Medea’ on September 19 “would not be affected by possible partial stoppages.”