Updated: Chicago Symphony Orchestra goes on strike
It's been barely a week since the suspension of the Chicago Teachers Union strike, and now a labor dispute is threatening the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Following Thursday and Friday concerts, CSO musicians declined to perform Saturday after failing to agree on terms of a contract that expired September 16. Negotiations over the weekend resulted in a clash with management over wages and employee contributions toward health care costs, after which musicians left the table and proceeded with an official strike.
"The Chicago Symphony Orchestra Association is extremely disappointed that the musicians have decided to strike. Looking around the country, it's clear that the more prudent path would be to work with us to ensure their future, rather than engage in this action," said CSO Association president Deborah Rutter in an official statement.
Ticketholders can exchange tickets for future CSO performance, donate their tickets or request a refund through the Symphony Center box office at 312-294-3000.
A follow-up statement went out to members of the press earlier today: "Talks between the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Association, the Chicago Federation of Musicians and the federal mediator who has been working with the parties will resume this afternoon."
UPDATE: The CSO just released the following statement:
The musicians and management of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra have arrived at a tentative agreement for a new, three-year collective bargaining agreement. Ratification of this new contract is still pending by both parties—the Chicago Federation of Musicians and the CSOA Board of Trustees—at which time further details will be announced. When ratified, the new contract will take effect retroactively on Monday, September 17, 2012.
All previously-scheduled CSO activities will proceed as planned.