FIM International Federation of Musicians
Teatro Colón: enough abuse!
Press release from the artists of the Teatro Colón
With deep regret, we, the artists of the Teatro Colón, are left with no other option than to communicate and make public the way we have been abused and abandoned by those who should be affording us the minimum conditions that are vital for us to develop at a professional level.
Despite the fact that the Teatro’s current budget is the highest it has ever been in its history, we are concerned to see how, year after year, the programme of its artistic corps is being reduced, to a point where today its autonomous production has reached one of the lowest levels since being created.
The level of malaise felt by its artists is deep: the Teatro Colón is today offering us the worst working conditions in the region, including the most draining form of institutional and occasionally personal abuse.
It is our duty to warn that conditions are being created for repeating conflicts resulting from problems that have not yet been resolved:
– In 2011, the GCBA made public the creation of a Career Committee tasked with beginning to resolve the Teatro’s occupational problems, and yet, despite almost 2 years’ intense work, no career has seen the light of day. Only occasional, palliative improvements have been brought about.
– Over the past 22 months (almost two years), the typical artist’s salary has undergone a 23% decrease in purchasing power.
As to the nature of some of these fleeting improvements, the reduction in the programmed production also affects the salary of artists, as does the increasing tax burden of the state.
Out of consideration for the public, artists have for years supported abuse and inefficient management
Out of consideration for the public, artists have for years supported abuse and inefficient management, as well as the inability to resolve any demand we made to regain previous production levels.
We have to underline that there is no correlation between institutionally planned requirements and remuneration received, nor between our professional hierarchy and the authoritarian and provocative treatment meted out to us (arrogant and offensive attitudes, sanctions, indictments and layoffs of colleagues).
Neither has there been any improvement where old issues are concerned. Unable to benefit from decent retirement pensions, senior artists are obliged to have recourse to lawyers to hold on to their work via writs of protection and cautionary measures, instead of being able to enjoy life after so many years of hard work. Those who, trusting that there would be a foreseeable evolution in salary, nevertheless opted for voluntary retirement, are, as explained earlier, also being punished.
On numerous occasions, we have submitted proposals and offered to collaborate in seeking solutions which would enable us to work and concentrate on our activity. All we have received are silence and lack of interest which today are interpreted by the theatre’s artists as shallow provocations.
For 11 months we have repeatedly alerted those concerned, including in writing, of the prevailing tension and distress, but we see no change whatsoever in the attitudes of those who should be the main parties interested in their staff not feeling this sense of abuse.
In this ambient malaise, the ultimate outcome is that it is impossible to give real expression either to art or beauty.
For this reason, today, we, the artists of the Teatro Colón, say ENOUGH ABUSE!
We want a theatre of quality, open to society with a majority of autonomous production, decent wages and respectful and indiscriminate treatment for its artists who have earned their positions via international and occupational competitions.
Published on September 30, 2014