San Francisco Symphony musicians will join the Chicago picket line

Melissa Kleinbart, Chair of the Players’ Committee of the SF Symphony has let it be known that when the SF Symphony arrives to perform in Chicago on March 26th ‘we plan to join their picket line and stand with them in solidarity’.


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  • So are they still playing the show? Their appearance is produced by the CSO and Symphony Center, though they’re not really replacing the CSO.

    • exactly my thoughts.

      it’s a game of synchronised leap frog played by the top 7 orchestras in the US: orchestras trade places for higher salary every 3 or 4 years, no one wants the top salary to freeze with any single orchestra for longer than that

      • Um, they have other commitments and other concerts. Do you think musicians just sit around all day? They go in and try to teach all the children so they don’t grow up to be crapholes.

    • They’re playing in Champaign, IL the next day so it makes sense to go ahead and fly into Chicago regardless.

  • is sfs can afford to fly the entire orchestra to chicago for several days including hotel just to join a ticket line, then the musicians of the sfs are not getting the highest salary possible, LOL!

  • They are flying from Boston where they perform on Sunday. Tickets are for sale in Chicago and the concert is not marked “canceled” on the calendar.

  • They will play only if the strike is settled. If not, they will picket. From the Chicago Tribune:

    “The musicians of the San Francisco Symphony, scheduled to play Tuesday evening at Symphony Center, will join striking Chicago Symphony Orchestra musicians on the picket line if the labor conflict hasn’t been settled by then.”

  • Why not do a joint concert with CSO colleagues in a public area, free to anyone and all? Union and management are locked in their own dogmatism, and that leads nowhere and deprives humanity of much needed music.

    • Hard to understand the logic of striking against your employer because of wage increase demands not being met and then going out and playing concerts for free.

      Seems like they’re shooting themselves in the foot.

    • Edgar: What a great idea, when striking for higher pay they should agree to take a temporary pay cut and not get paid at all. That will certainly threaten the management.

  • The Chicago musicians are striking because they don’t want the management to change their pension plan. Just think of the tens of millions of hard working people in this country who get NO pensions at all.

    • I’m sorry but that is a ridiculous argument. I am one of those musicians asking to retain my current pension plan. I worked very hard to get my job and I have worked very hard during my almost 30 years performing with this orchestra. Of course there are other hard working people that don’t have what I have. And there are hard working people that have much more then I have.
      But to say that because some don’t have , others should give up fighting to keep what was promised them is just a ridiculous argument. Instead we should be fighting for more people to earn or retain their benefits. Your attitude seems very punitive and small minded.

      • The musicians are still going to get a good pension. It’s just that they will have to manage it themselves instead of management doing it.

        Management is passing on the risk to the musicians.

        The flip side of that is that with the investment tools available to everyone today and the efficiency of index investing, many musicians who are quite smart and capable may be able to outperform the returns on a defined benefit plan.

        No one has mentioned that possibility!

        • “many musicians who are quite smart and capable may be able to outperform the returns on a defined benefit plan.”

          Moronic statements like this explain exactly why the risk should not be transferred to the musicians.

    • And the CSO players yielding on this point just makes it easier for employers to continue this race to the bottom. Whether they are doing it or not, they are doing a service for a lot of working people by defending the defined-benefit pension plan. That’s actually the only point on which I’m sympathetic to the CSO players; on salary I don’t think they have much to complain about.

    • Guess they should have fought for pensions. At least musicians aren’t sheep. Good for them! They are standing up to the Zell family. Look up Sam Zell.

    • I know, they should have fought harder for their pension plans. At least this orchestra isn’t going down without a fight. Good for them.

  • How ironic, it is precisely because of the higher salary in San Francisco that Chicago is striking, because, as the Chicago musicians keep saying, “Chicago is the best'” and San Francisco is by implication, not as good.

    It takes a certain humbleness, masochism, to join the picket line of colleagues who think your orchestra is second fiddle.

    • Everyone knows Chicago is the best. So what. Their recordings are always the best. They attract the best conductors. Esa conducts there. If you got ears you can tell they are the best. It’s that midwestern work ethic, you can’t beat it. When actors come to Chicago they say they love it because it’s about the work and not the attitude. Chicagoans are fighters and work hard. IT’s the only city in the States that shut down Trump’s rally. It never happened. So there. (sticks tongue out)

    • As I said, people who move elsewhere from Chicago are always quick to tell you how wonderful everything is in Chicago. Cleveland ex-pats, on the other hand, begin apologizing. I found this to be true time after time after time.

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