Throughout the world, live entertainment is undergoing serious constraints, following government decisions taken in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. These constraints have brought about a drop in resources and serious disorganisation of programmes, in particular where symphony orchestras or operas are concerned.
In the face of such an unprecedented situation, it is essential for all stakeholders to work together to come up with suitable strategies, in order both to protect jobs and the missions of these institutions, over the short, medium and long terms. This historic crisis must also be an opportunity to show the solidarity and respect of our societies for those who, through their creative activity, help brighten the day-to-day lives of all citizens.
Against this backdrop, it is particularly shocking to see the administration of Opera Australia choosing to announce that it is doing away with 40% of jobs and denouncing all collective agreements. The health crisis we are undergoing today must not serve as an alibi for management to target job suppression, abandon social dialogue and, in so doing, inflict long-lasting damage on the institution of which it is in charge.
This historic crisis must also be an opportunity to show the solidarity and respect of our societies for those who, through their creative activity, help brighten the day-to-day lives of all citizens
In a letter sent on 18 September 2020 to Mr David Mortimer, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Opera Australia, FIM requested management to backtrack on the unilateral measures it had announced and engage in discussions with the MEAA union to seek a coordinated solution through dialogue. Replying to FIM’s call, numerous musicians’ unions have also mobilised themselves these past few days to express their support for MEAA.