DSO Musicians make unconditional offer to return to work!


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 3/1/11
Contact: Greg Bowens, Bowens & Co., 248.275.3156,

DSO STRIKING MUSICIANS MAKE UNCONDITIONAL OFFER TO RETURN TO WORK AND END DEBILITATING 22-WEEK STRIKE AS A WAY OF SALVAGING REMAINING SEASON

Musicians say turn on the stage lights and let the sound of music play again at Orchestra Hall or let the Max Theatre complex continue its slow death as entertainers and audiences shun facility

Detroit – The striking musicians of the DSO are offering to return to work and end the labor dispute while a binding arbitration process runs its course to a new contract.

“It is way past the time for this strike to be settled,” said Gordon Stump, president of the musicians locally. “We are here today to offer a procedure which we believe is fair to all sides, and would put the musicians back on stage immediately and unconditionally.”

The musicians are offering to submit all remaining unresolved issues to binding arbitration before a three person panel. They would select one arbitrator, DSO executives would select one, and these two individuals would select a third. The parties would present and argue their position on each of the unresolved issues, and ultimately, the panel would issue a final and binding decision which was approved by at least two of the three. The majority could adopt the position of one party over the position of the other, or they could propose something different. Any provisions of the arbitrators’ decision which can be made retroactively will be so implemented.

If this procedure is agreeable, as set forth above, the strike ends, the orchestra returns to the stage and everyone can salvage what’s left of this season and prepare for exciting summer and fall seasons, while the arbitration case proceeds to a conclusion.

“We believe this to be a fair, equitable, and expeditious way of preserving this great institution for now, and for future generations,” said Stump.

If it’s not, the Max Fisher Center, home of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, can continue to lose revenue and stature as artists refuse to perform at the beleaguered facility. The organization is 0-6 in its efforts to secure new performers due to the ongoing labor dispute.

The latest entertainer to cancel is the famous R&B and gospel group Take6. They were to replace Grammy award winning singer Bobby McFerrin’s March 3 performance. The two are the latest in a slew of cancellations including the Brass Band of Battle Creek, Sarah Chang, the Bowfire Holiday Heart Strings and the Canadian Brass Christmas. The cancellations are dashing DSO executives’ dreams of competing with the Fox, Music Hall and other top entertainment venues as word spreads in the entertainment world to avoid performing at the Max in Detroit.

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