A conflict first arose between the two groups several weeks ago when the question of Local One's jurisdiction over Lincoln Center's outside plaza and surrounding areas was raised. While the union's contract with Lincoln Center guarantees employment of union staff for events inside Lincoln Center's buildings and theaters, the outside areas, including Damrosch Park where the majority of the runway shows will be held, are under no such contractual obligations. In the past however, Local One employees have manned various outdoor functions, including the lighting of the Christmas tree, which union leaders argued was a precedent-setting standard.
With the threat of potential picket lines looming, the NY Post reported that IMG gave in to the pressure and has agreed to work with Local One—and not a moment too soon. While Fashion Week kicks off next Thursday, September 9, preparations, including the raising of tents, have already begun. Going forward, this should also foster friendly relations between the two groups for future fashion week events, as IMG currently has a 5-year lease on Lincoln Center.