Orchestras in New York, Philadelphia, Boston, Denver, Minnesota and Washington show support for striking DSO musicians.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 3/3/11
Contact: Greg Bowens, Bowens & Co., 248.275.3156, [email protected]
DSO STRIKING MUSICIANS SPARK NATIONAL SOLIDARITY
Protests kick off in New York, Philadelphia, Boston, Denver, Minnesota and Washington, D.C. this weekend.
Detroit – The striking musicians of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra are providing the spark for a national showing of support to occur this weekend in New York, Philadelphia, Boston, Denver, and Washington, D.C. The coordinated national showings of support are the first to occur since the strike began last October.
“People from across the country are paying more and more attention to the labor dispute here in Detroit,” said Gordon Stump, president of the musicians locally. “These events in other cities demonstrate clearly that we are not just 80 musicians standing alone in this struggle – we are thousands of people from across the country standing together.”
Members of the New York Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, Boston Symphony, the Colorado Symphony in Denver, and the National Symphony in Washington, D.C. plan to participate in various forms to show their solidarity with the striking musicians of the DSO.
Plans are underway to include orchestras in more cities. They follow a pattern of widening support in the labor movement for the striking musicians. Two weeks ago, several dozen unions were rallied by the Metro Detroit AFL-CIO to protest with the musicians. And, the Chicago Symphony musicians distributed leaflets to their audience supporting the DSO musicians in January.
Still fighting for a resolution to the strike, musicians have made it clear that they are willing to return to the table to negotiate. Management, however, has stubbornly refused to continue negotiations, which brings to light a different motive. “Union busting is fashionable these days, but fortunately so is fighting back,” says AFM President Ray Hair. “Regardless of your trade or profession, be it musician, laborer, teacher, or engineer, ‘sticking together’ is no longer a cliché, but the key to surviving the class warfare that is rearing its ugly head throughout our country.”
The widening attention is occurring in the wake of an offer made by the musicians to return to work and end the labor dispute while a binding arbitration process runs its course to a new contract. The musicians offered 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.
Meanwhile, the striking musicians are performing community concerts numbers 15 to 20 in March. For more information on the concert series and ticket prices visit www.detroitsymphonymusicians.