Metropolitan Opera reaches deal with stagehands

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NEW YORK (AP) - New York City's Metropolitan Opera has reached a deal with its stagehands and says it expects to avert a lockout by reaching agreements with the remaining unions as well.

The Met says it reached an agreement with the stagehands early Wednesday. It is still negotiating with eight smaller unions including those representing painters and costume and makeup artists.

The opera company says rehearsals will continue and the season will open as scheduled Sept. 22.

Management had demanded salary cuts of about 17 percent and threatened to lock workers out if they did not agree.

The terms of the agreement with the stagehands were not disclosed. Published reports said deals reached earlier with the Met's orchestra and singers included concessions by both sides.

The agreements must be ratified by union members.

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