j.swails 5pts @stifkittenNon-theatrical people don't understand what those job titles mean. In the theatrical world, "Carpenter" (properly, the Master Carpenter) is not a guy who pounds nails into wood. The Master Carpenter is the boss of the entire stage crew - effectively "upper management". Would it sound better if the job was titled "Executive Director of Stage Operations"? Because that's what the job actually is.Same with "electrician" - the Master Electrician would be titled "Chief Technical Officer" in any other profession, because he or she is in charge of all technical operations, including lights, sound, communications, video and in today's theaters, computer technology. The Properties Master is responsible for every piece of equipment the theater owns. Would "Executive Inventory Controller" spark less outrage? The problem is that theatrical workers still follow the traditional names of the theater world. (As does the film industry - ever wonder why they still call the Master Electrician's first assistant the "Best Boy" in the movie credits? Does anyone outside the trade know what a "gaffer" is? Or a "rigger?" These job titles are leftovers from the days when stagehand jobs were typically filled by sailors, who knew how to run ropes and pulleys, how to build special wooden devices, etc. and they carried the job titles with them.) I'm shocked that a paper like the Village Voice doesn't know this, or chooses to ignore it for the sake of sensationalism.Someone brought up the minimum number of stagehands that a union requires the theater management to hire for a show. The reason for those rules is that management would rather require that the visiting artist supply non-union workers, and are always trying to cut the number of stagehands down to the bare minimum they can. For example, they would rather have three stagehands each having to carry 100 pound loads instead of hiring enough workers so they can double up and carry 50 pounds each. This is a matter of workplace safety. AND... in the theater, there are no delays. If you hire someone to build a house, and they finish the job two hours later than you wanted, it's no big deal. In the theater, a two hour delay means a cancelled show, a few thousand ticket refunds and a destroyed reputation for the theater company. This is why the union insists on hiring enough workers to get the job SAFELY done on time, and then some. Because a stage is a dangerous place. I myself witnessed a rigger (those are the guys who run the pulleys that flies everything in and out of a stage, from curtains to actors in Spiderman costumes) plunge to his death on a stage. I was nearly electrocuted on a stage once. In the theater where I work there is a memorial display on the stage wall with the names of stagehands who have DIED on the job in accidents. (Do you think a hedge fund office has the same thing?) A rigger died on the Spiderman show, which only got covered because of all the negative publicity surrounding the production. But serious injuries happen more often than people know. One other thing: most stagehands, union or not, don't work a regular 40 hours per week. They make a high hourly wage, but the average stage hand works maybe 20-30 hours a week. And often consists of 12-16 hour shifts, to get the show unloaded and installed (and then taken down and reloaded) in the few days between shows at a busy theater like Carnegie. Now, none of this is to say that these people aren't overcompensated, maybe they are. They've probably spent 40-50 years of their lives on the same job and got a lot of seniority, including the non-stage employees in that list making the same kind of money. But they aren't the ones being printed in bold. For the sake of disclosure, I am a union stagehand (not IATSE, my theater is organized by CWA.) Which is why I know these things. It is unlike any other craft profession on earth. I only wish the VV editors would provide some of the background information as part of the story.Oh, and I don't make anywhere near that kind of money.