Chicago latest: Board says it will work with the Mayor to end the strike

Chicago latest: Board says it will work with the Mayor to end the strike


norman lebrecht

April 25, 2019

Statement from CSOA:


On Wednesday evening, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Association accepted Mayor Emanuel’s offer to assist with the current negotiations. The Association appreciates Mayor Emanuel’s offer, and we look forward to working with him and the Chicago Federation of Musicians toward a mutually acceptable contract for the members of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.



  • fflambeau says:

    Rahm Emanuel has been sooo good at dealing with Chicago’s many other problems. Yes, that’s sarcasm.

    Plus, he’s on the way out. Where’s the new mayor?

    Like I have said many times before, I think this will be a long strike and perhaps unsolvable.

    • Simon says:

      Braaaavoooo!!! I salute your wisdom! Now go and read the actual news source to learn that deal has been struck.

      Lebrecht, how about you post and article about it? Actually you don’t post good news, I forgot….

  • anonymous says:

    Empty offer, empty acceptance.

    It simply allows all parties to say “we did our best”

    Prediction: the season will end without a deal, and summer in Chicago will be long, hot, and simmering.

    • fflambeau says:

      Correct anonymous. The only thing “substantive” about the offer is that Rahm will use it in the future to show he really is a good guy. Like:

      “Your Honor, please don’t send me to the pen. After all, I’m the guy who offered to settle the CSO strike. See, I have good intentions.”

    • Bill says:

      Your prognostication abilities are unrivaled, I see.

  • Old Man in the Midwest says:

    All Hail Rahmulus!

    • Sir David Geffen-Hall says:

      What about Jesse?

      He was on the picket line and didn’t get more than one photo opp.

      If this works, Rahm will get more.

  • Paul Wells says:

    I’m always surprised at the tone of comments. Probably I shouldn’t be surprised. Orchestra programs new music: It’s crap! Orchestra programs old music: Stick-in-the-mud! Young conductor hired: Just a pretty face! Old conductor hired: Past his prime!

    The mayor offered to help with a labour dispute. Why didn’t he do it earlier? Because a lot of labour disputes end sooner. There’s no point unsticking something that isn’t stuck yet. Why doesn’t he wait for the new mayor? Because she’s not the mayor yet and in the meantime, the name on the door of the mayor’s office is still his name. He’s just grandstanding for a photo op! Really? So he can… get re-elected for a job he’s leaving? And how big do we suppose the orchestra-fan swing vote is in Chicago, anyway?

    Somebody in the mayor’s office might have a suggestion both sides can live with, just by dint of being an outsider. If not, the situation is not worse than it already was. Meanwhile somebody’s talking to somebody. Nothing’s guaranteed — it’s even unlikely to help — but it’s a bit better than doing nothing.

    • Tod Brody says:

      The Slipped Disc commentariat are in large part a sour, cynical bunch. They know better, and nobody is good for much. They lead sad lives, but have the satisfaction of knowing that they are right, and you are wrong.

    • Pacer1 says:

      Finally, an intelligent post. Thank you Paul!

    • fflambeau says:

      You do realize, Paul Wells, that Rahm will no longer be Mayor as of 20 of May. That doesn’t give the ineffective and highly unpopular politician much time to do much of anything, in a dispute that has dragged on a long time. He’s a lame duck.

      “Somebody in the mayor’s office might have a suggestion both sides can live with, just by dint of being an outsider.” Like the janitor? Rahm hasn’t a clue about much. Look at his poll numbers and why he didn’t run again. Look at all the problems he’s created, let alone all the one’s he’s failed to solve.

      Maybe Rahm is looking for a new gig because he’s failed twice now as a politician? Symphony conductor? New head of a “kinder and gentler” symphony association?

    • Russ says:

      Why wouldn’t people have differing opinions of what orchestras are doing? Dozens of different people comment here, I sure hope they don’t agree on everything!

    • V.Lind says:

      Thank you for what is probably the most intelligent response to appear on this site in years. (If you are the Paul Wells I think you are, it is not surprising).

      Your grasp of the all-too-frequent nature of comments here suggests you are a regular reader. I hope we hear from you more often in future.

    • Opus131 says:

      Yes indeed. A lot of angry bitter people have nothing better to do than make vile comments on this site. I am so grateful I don’t live their sad little lives! And once again they were apparently wrong; a deal has been hammered out, thanks to Rahm. The musicians will vote to ratify it in a few hours.

  • Wake me when it’s over. says:

    The union members have raised the issue from local work retirement benefits to nation-wide trickle down “All musicians win or all musicians lose.” The musicians will not settle no matter the damage now or in the future. It’s not about retirement anymore. Right or wrong, it’s about rights and wrongs. That’s how wars start.

  • anon 12 says:

    Jeff Alexander et al have been dragging this orchestra down since his arrival. Spending money on hauling the orchestra out to Wheaton repeatedly for cut rate ticket prices is ridiculous but that’s more convenient for him and his cronies. Spending money on the musicians, not overhauling the building would also be a good idea. He needs to go.

  • Snarky commenter says:

    I assume, now that the strike was settled in the mayors office, that all of the people on this site badmouthing him and all parties involved (especially the musicians) will offer a mea culpa and admit to their own bias and rush to judgement.

  • Russ says:

    Says a lot when a proudly Trotskyist organization is the place musicians go to get their message out!

    Maybe they should go to an organization people have actually heard of to be taken seriously?

    • Not.Dr.Who says:

      For those who have not I strongly suggest you go and browse that website to better understand some of the musicians’ mentality. You may be shocked.