A federal mediator is on her way to New York to try to resolve a labor faceoff at the Metropolitan Opera.
Thousands of company members face the prospect of losing their paychecks and health care at 12:01 a.m. Friday if company General Manager Peter Gelb acts on his threat to lock them out.
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Gelb has demanded the Met's unions accept salary cuts of what he estimates at 17 percent. That's intended to cover a deficit of $2.8 million in the Met's $300 million annual budget.
But unions representing singers, orchestra musicians, carpenters and others say they'll lose as much as 30 percent of their income through pension cuts and higher health care costs.
The Met proposed a federal mediator on Wednesday. The unions agreed to the mediator on Thursday.