SATURDAY, MAY 28
Palm Beach Post Staff WriterWEST PALM BEACH — U.S. Reps. Alcee Hastings, D-Miramar, and Ted Deutch, D-Boca Raton, have asked U.S. Labor Secretary Hilda Solis to get involved in the long-running dispute between the Kravis Center and a stagehands union.
The West Palm Beach performing arts venue and the International Alliance of the Theatrical Stage Employees and Moving Picture Technicians and Allied Crafts have been at odds since 2000, when center officials broke off contract talks and stopped using union stagehands.
A federal appeals court in 2008 upheld two lower court rulings that the center had engaged in unfair labor practices and ordered it to return to the bargaining table. Talks broke down in January.
"As this conflict dates back over a decade, we therefore request that you please take a stand to compel the Kravis Center to change their course of conduct once and for all," Hastings and Deutch said in a letter to Solis dated Wednesday.
Kravis Center officials didn't immediately respond.
Union members have not gone on strike, but have conducted "informational pickets" outside the Kravis Center from time to time. During last year's U.S. Senate campaign, former Gov. Charlie Crist and Democratic candidate Kendrick Meek refused to cross the picket line.
Former West Palm Beach Mayor Lois Frankel, now a Democratic congressional candidate, and liberal comedian Bill Maher are among those who have crossed the informational pickets.
TO VIEW THE LETTER, CLICK HERE