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Opera house asks staff to return a million euros

Unions threaten strike action after company admits mistake in 2011 payments

Daniel Verdú
A performance of the opera Elektra at Teatro Real.
A performance of the opera Elektra at Teatro Real.

Madrid’s Teatro Real opera house has demanded that its employees return around one million euros in overpaid wages, director general Miguel Muñiz has confirmed.

The money should have been deducted from staff paychecks from 2010, but a mistake in interpreting a law that reduced public sector salaries by five percent meant it never was. Now the board plans to take out the money, which adds up to between 3,000 and 6,000 euros for each of the 300 workers, from their next four extra payments. The workers’ committee said it plans to protest the move. “The situation [...] leads us to take the decision to mount protests and strikes that will endanger the opening of the next operas,” its statement read.

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