West End theatre shows could be impacted by industrial action around Easter time, as performers discuss walking out on strike if their pay demands are not met.
According to a report from the BBC, performing arts trade union Equity has put in a 17% pay rise request to the Society of London Theatre.
Equity told the BBC that strikes were a possibility as “nothing” was “off the table”.
In a statement, the Society of London Theatre said: “As we enter this year’s negotiations, we are keen to build on our already constructive relationship with Equity to achieve a sustainable outcome.”
The strikes could impact performances if the two organisations fail to reach an agreement.
“I’m at the top of my game and have been for a while and I still have to work two other jobs. It’s exhausting. I can’t afford a ticket to see the show I’m in"
Tomorrow, the campaign launches.
— Equity (@EquityUK) January 19, 2023
Equity is reportedly calling for a pay increase of 17% in the first year, followed by a further 10% increased in year two. Other demands from the trade union include a five-day rehearsal week instead of the current six days and an increase in holiday entitlement from 28 days to 34.
The trade union said that two-thirds of its members had previously considered leaving the theatre industry over the last three years, while 45% had a second job. This is because their pay did not cover their living expenses.
The BBC reported that over half of West End performers are currently receive the existing union-agreed minimum wage, which is £629.41 a week (€718.37/$777.59).