“For the first time since 2012, the musicians of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra went on strike on Sunday evening,” writes Howard Reich in Sunday’s (3/10) Chicago Tribune. “ ‘We have been clear from the beginning that we will not accept a contract that diminishes the well-being of members or imperils the future of the orchestra,’ said Stephen Lester, CSO bassist and chair of the musicians’ negotiating committee, in a statement. ‘As of today, the musicians of the CSO are on strike.’ … At issue is orchestra management’s proposal to alter the musicians’ pension from a defined benefit plan to a direct contribution plan, as well as a salary dispute. Negotiations have been under way for more than 11 months. ‘The trustees of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Association (CSOA) are disappointed that the Chicago Symphony Orchestra musician—represented by the Chicago Federation of Musicians—have given notice they intend to strike after 11 months of thoughtful negotiations,’ said CSOA board chair Helen Zell in a statement. ‘As board members we are responsible for the financial well-being of the Association that govern the orchestra, not only in the present, but well into the future.’ … The orchestra was next scheduled to perform on Thursday.”

Posted March 11, 2019