Metropolitan Opera Contract Talks Extended Three Days

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midnight lockout was averted after discussions with labor unions were prolonged.

New York's Metropolitan Opera says labor talks with its unions have been extended for an additional 72 hours, averting a threatened midnight lockout.

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The company announced late Thursday that the delay was requested by a federal mediator who had arrived just hours earlier to try to resolve the labor standoff.

Thousands of company members had faced the prospect of losing their paychecks and health care at 12:01 a.m. Friday if company general manager Peter Gelb acted on his threat to lock them out.

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Gelb has demanded the Met's unions accept salary cuts intended to cover a deficit of $2.8 million.
But unions representing 2,500 singers, orchestra musicians and others say they'll lose as much as 30 percent of their income through pension cuts and higher health care costs.