By Richard Levine and Frances Roberts
Many times over the years we’ve encountered the inflatable union rat. Local One of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) inflated him today because Spiegelworld was using non-union labor in their new show. In case you’ve never heard of them, they are a sort of traveling circus where they set up a tent and for lack of a better description, perform what can be called, not your mother’s circus. The NY Post described them as “an off-beat European circus on acid”. Nuff said.
Spiegelworld has performed in New York before. They generally set up their tent at the South Street Seaport during the summer. This year however, they are setting up in a vacant lot right in the middle of the Broadway Theatre District/ Times Square. I guess IATSE felt that the non-union show was infringing on their turf.
Now that’s a scary rat. Which is what the Laundry, Distribution and Food Service Joint Board thought also. Apparently, the union took umbrage with the Hospital for Special Surgery because they use a “laundry that allegedly is a sweatshop” (the humor of that statement never ceases to amaze us). So out came the rat along with a crowd of laundry workers.
And of course after a hard day of protesting, Scabby the Rat gets deflated and he has earned a well deserved rest. Scabby’s apparently come in numerous sizes from six feet to 30 feet. We don’t think a 30 foot rat was ever in New York (unless he was in a sewer) probably because of whatever local laws govern this sort to of thing, 30 feet would be too tall. Twelve feet seems to be the most popular height.
Richard Levine and Frances Roberts, of Levine Roberts Photography, are a husband and wife team of photographers covering politics, environmental issues, the economy, business, and social and cultural issues in the Big Apple. See more photos from their collection on Newscom.
You may be interested in these other posts from Levine Roberts photography on FocalPoint:
This entry was posted on Thursday, May 24th, 2012 at 1:52 pm and is filed under Guest Blog. You can follow any comments to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a comment, or trackback from your own site.