Eighty-one of the 105 Instant Charge workers at the Kennedy Center have signed cards asking Local 2 of the Office and Professional Employees union to represent them in negotiations with Kennedy Center management.
The Instant Charge workers take telephoned credit card orders for tickets to Kennedy Center and National Theatre productions. Only 21 of the 105 work full time. Thirty-two work regular part-time hours; 52 are available on call. The Instant Charge workers comprise the largest group of paid employes at the Kennedy Center.
One of the organizers of the effort to join the union says the workers are "grossly underpaid." Their positions offer "no job security," he says, and they are "constantly threatened" by the possibility of losing their jobs. According to the organizer, only 16 of the workers are given vacation time and health benefits.
Kennedy Center director of operations Thomas Kendrick denied these charges but added that the Center had not been contacted by the union yet and that any further comment would be "premature."
Union representative John Hazel said that he could foresee "nothing that could prevent us from representing them" but added that a final decision would not be made until union officials had met with a committee of the workers.
According to one of the workers, the Instant Charge staff handles approximately 60 percent of Kennedy Center ticket sales. They deliver their orders to the box office workers, who belong to another union.