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Metropolitan Opera Reaches Deals With 2 Unions

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) -- The Metropolitan Opera has reached tentative labor deals with two of its largest unions while negotiations continue with 10 more unions in hopes of averting a lockout.

The Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service announced Monday that the Met has reached agreements with Local 802 of the musicians' union and with the American Guild of Musical Artists.

"These were difficult and highly complex negotiations and I wish to commend the parties for their resolve in addressing multiple and complex issues," Allison Beck, deputy director of the FMCS, said in a statement. "We are grateful for their commitment to the collective bargaining process and grateful most of all that the Metropolitan Opera, one of the world's premier cultural institutions, will continue providing outstanding operas for all to enjoy."

Metropolitan Opera Reaches Deals With 2 Unions

A spokesman for the Met said the contract deadline has been extended through midnight Tuesday with the remaining unions. The Met had set a deadline of midnight Sunday for a lockout that could scuttle the opera's season.

Management has demanded salary cuts of about 17 percent. The unions said members would lose as much as 30 percent of their income through pension cuts and higher health care costs.

In all, there are about 2,500 singers, musicians, carpenters and other workers whose contracts all expired in July.

The agreements are subject to ratification.

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