At an open rehearsal last week in Sarasota Springs, NY, Philadelphia Orchestra musicians and Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin wore t-shirts showing solidarity with the musicians’ union. Photo by Melissa McCleery.

In Sunday’s (8/20) Philadelphia Inquirer, Rita Giordano writes, “Members of the Philadelphia Orchestra have voted to authorize a strike if they don’t see more progress in their negotiations for a new contract and better pay. In a vote that … was announced Sunday morning, the musicians put their bosses with the Philadelphia Orchestra and Kimmel Center Inc. (POKC) on notice they are prepared to walk out after their current contract expires Sept. 10. The strike authorization, agreed to by 95% of the members who voted, doesn’t guarantee a strike but is a necessary step to calling a walkout if there is still no agreement when their contract expires. The Philadelphia musicians are seeking wage increases that they say would raise their pay to within the average of the other orchestras of their caliber, along with improved retirement benefits, pay parity for their substitute musicians … and the filling of 15 vacant positions in the orchestra, among other requests…. The Philadelphia Orchestra and Kimmel Center Inc. ‘are disappointed’ in the strike authorization vote, spokesperson Ashley Berke said in an email, vowing to ‘continue to negotiate in good faith towards a fiscally responsible agreement that ensures the musicians’ economic and artistic future.’ ”