ENO strike postponed

The Musicians Union and Equity have suspended the strike by musicians and chorus of English National Opera, due to start tomorrow with the opening of the company’s new production of The Handmaid’s Tale, which will now go ahead.

The postponement follows an interim headline agreement by Equity, with the MU needing further negotiation to get to an acceptable settlement but also suspending industrial action.

“We are pleased to announce that Equity has reached an interim settlement with the English National Opera for the chorus” a statement said. “Although this does not mark the absolute end of negotiations, we are confident that constructive talks can lead to a full resolution in the coming weeks.”

The strike was called after management announced plans to make all of the chorus, orchestra and music staff redundant and re-employ them for six months of the year, with some musicians in the orchestra be offered ad hoc freelance work only. Equity and the MU said the plans would threaten musicians’ livelihoods.

The announcement led to the resignation of ENO’s music director, Martyn Brabbins, and came as ENO and the Arts Council agreed to a move to Manchester for the company.

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