January 11, 2016
By Steven Wishnia and Neal Tepel
Greenacres, NY- Alan S. Gordon, executive director of the American Guild of Musical Artists since 2000, died Jan. 1 at the age of 70. He was known for using theatrical tactics to represent the union’s members, who included chorus members, soloists, dancers, choreographers, and production personnel at New York’s Metropolitan Opera, the New York City Ballet, the San Francisco Opera, and the San Francisco Ballet.
In 2014, when the Met was seeking work-rule changes that would have cut AGMA members’ pay by one-sixth, to slash pensions by one-third, and to move workers to a high-deductible health-insurance plan, its general manager sent Gordon an e-mail suggesting that he “think about a more temperate response.” “When you and your advisers are out to destroy the livelihood, welfare and families of the people that it’s my job to represent and protect, there’s little for me to be temperate about,” Gordon responded—and forwarded the e-mail chain to the press. Gordon, who had previously worked with the Textile Workers Union of America and the Directors Guild of America, also brought dancers at the Washington Ballet into AGMA, and got those at the American Ballet Theater to rejoin it. Read more