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Opera Australia | International support for the MEAA campaign

No opera without us

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.

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