Wednesday’s (7/15) DW-World website, which focuses on Germany, provides an update on a possible backstage strike at the Bayreuth Festival. “Bavaria’s annual celebration of Richard Wagner has likely avoided what would have been its first-ever strike. … Marathon pay talks between the ver.di union [the large German trade union] and the festival management collapsed early Tuesday, but a new round of negotiations has now been scheduled for July 22. ‘It looks as though the strike has been averted,’ Hans Kraft from the ver.di union told a news agency. … Just a day earlier, the situation had looked more serious, with sixty stagehands and lighting engineers and 100 freelance workers for the event demanding a fairer wage. ‘Most of the technicians earn less than around 10 euros ($14) per hour at the moment, which is some 20 percent less than the industry norm,’ Hans Kraft said. … This year’s festival is the first to be co-directed by Katharina Wagner and her half-sister Eva Wagner-Pasquier …It also marks the end to Bayreuth’s status as a private business. The festival’s shareholders now include the government, the Bavarian state and the town of Bayreuth. The forth shareholder is the Friends of Bayreuth association.” The complete article can be found here.

Posted July 17, 2009