He's threatening to lock out the Met's unionized workers on August 1:
In letters to the company’s unionized workers, Mr. Gelb, who is seeking to cut pay and benefits, wrote that “if we are not able to reach agreements by July 31 that would enable the Met to operate on an economically sound basis, please plan for the likelihood of a work stoppage beginning Aug. 1.” He added, “I sincerely hope to avoid such an unfortunate event.”
Mr. Gelb said in an interview, “If we haven’t reached agreements, the Met really has no option in my opinion but to impose a lockout.”C'mon: this tactic worked out so well in Minnesota. Apparently Gelb and the Met's board aren't aware of the enmity stirred up against the board and management by the 16-month musician lockout, or of the eventual resignation of the executive director and a good chunk of the board. And it's not as though those events are a secret.
Here's Alan Gordon of AGMA, who has not always been sensible in his own pronouncements:
“He has no intention of actually reaching an agreement by Aug. 1 unless it’s his agreement,” Mr. Gordon said of Mr. Gelb. He also said: “Once he locks out employees, his relationship with the performers at the Met is over. They will never respect him again. He’ll be the captain of a ship where the crew is just waiting for a chance to mutiny.”For once, he is right on.
Peter Gelb, you have a choice: it's called play and talk. I suggest that you keep talking.