Union workers petition for BottleRock arbitration
Monday, September, 9, 2013
International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) union Local 16, the workers’ union representing music festival workers, has requested arbitration to resolve unpaid wages from Napa’s BottleRock festival. According to the union, requests for the over $630,000 in unpaid wages have been met with refusals to pay, and therefore, the festival organizers have acted in “bad faith.”
According to documents that were filed with the courts, approximately 142 members of the union worked the Napa Valley music festival for five days. However, the festival organizers did not pay them for their work, forcing the union to file a suit against Bob Vogt and Gabe Meyers, the festival’s organizers. However, also according to documents, Vogt and Meyers refused arbitration, forcing the union to seek to compel arbitration.
According to an agreement signed on April 1st by both Vogt and Meyers, the union workers should have been paid wages ranging between $34.56 to $44.25 per hour. However, the union workers were not the only wages the organizers have failed to pay. Since the event date, several companies are still owed money by the BottleRock organizers, including vendors who had similar contracts with Vogt and Meyers. In fact, it is estimated that the BottleRock organizers have over $2.5 million in unpaid debts, including debts to security personnel, food service providers, the city of Napa, the Expo where the event took place, and transportation companies whose services were used. There are currently four other lawsuits against them for these unpaid debts.
Additionally, the event organizers promised over $1 million in donations to nonprofits and charities—none of which has been paid.