A Call to All Musicians and Labor Supporters

September 30, 2008 at 8:51 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Dear colleagues,

Yesterday, The Madison Area Federation of Musicians, Local #166 AFM
gave notice to the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra management that unless
accord is reached on key unresolved issues in the negotiations
relating to job security, attendance, and electronic media by 4PM CDT
on Wednesday, October 1st, a strike will be called for that evening at
7PM. The picketing location is in front of the Overture Center, at the
intersection of Dayton Street, Fairchild Street and State Street one
block directly west of the Wisconsin State Capitol in Madison,

The service scheduled for Wednesday night is a rehearsal, and if no
resolution is reached thereafter by Thursday or Friday, picketing will
also take place on Thursday at 7PM and Friday night (performance
night) at 8PM, same location.

We are still working with Federal Mediator Mike Salmon in an attempt
to resolve these key outstanding issues.

The Local and Committee would most cordially welcome anyone who may be
in region or elsewhere who would like to join us on the picket line on
either Wednesday, Thursday or Friday. Locally, we will be joined by
other Madison area union members who are members of the Central Labor
Council, members of the Wisconsin Network for Peace and Justice, the
Union of Teaching Assistants at the University of Wisconsin, other
supporters, among others.

Unfortunately, at this hour we cannot say for certain whether this
strike is a certainty or not; WE WILL SEND OUT AN EMAIL ALERT TOMORROW

Thank you in advance for your support, and we will keep you all posted
as soon as possible regarding picketing.

In Solidarity,

Nathan Kahn, Negotiator
Symphonic Services Division
American Federation of Musicians


Madison Musicians, we need your help!

September 29, 2008 at 5:10 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Tonight! An informational meeting will be held for all Madison area musicians and citizens who wish to help support the WCO musicians in their fight for a fair contract.

Tuesday, September 30, 5:30 pm
Michelangelo’s coffee shop
114 State Street
1/2 block towards the Capital on the opposite side of the street from
Overture Center.

No charge for the room, the only thing they ask is everyone purchase
something.  Great bakery, sandwiches, coffee…..

Please join us if you can!  Keep checking the blog…  We’ll also be updating the blog if we need help with specific activities.

Thanks for your support!!!

9/26/08 Press Release

September 29, 2008 at 5:08 pm | Posted in Press Release | Leave a comment

Sept. 26, 2008 Contact: Todd Jelen

MEDIA ALERT tj7118@yahoo.com

Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra

May Mark Season Start with a Strike

Madison may soon get an unwanted first — its first orchestra strike.

The Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra and its musicians have undertaken 11 meetings during nine months of talks. The musicians have met the board’s negotiators with lawyers, and without lawyers. They have met with a federal mediator present. However, because few of the foundational issues impacting the negotiations have been addressed, the group’s first 2008 Masterworks concert, scheduled for Oct. 3, may be the first WCO concert ever canceled by a strike.

Continue Reading 9/26/08 Press Release…

See articles about the Musicians’ fight for a fair contract:

September 29, 2008 at 4:35 pm | Posted in Informational, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Please visit the following links!

77 Square:
WCO contract negotiations stall; strike possible

Wisconsin State Journal:
Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra in contract wrangle

Negotiations update

September 29, 2008 at 4:05 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

On September 15 and 16 we met with management to continue to try and reach agreement on a new contract.  At the suggestion of Doug Gerhart, our new executive director, we met with only the musicians, the Federal Mediator, and Martha and Doug; the lawyers from Foley and Lardner and Nathan Kahn, AFM negotiator were out of the room.

We were hopeful, when Doug suggested this arrangement, that we would finally be able to find a common ground and start to make progress towards a fair contract.  Unfortunately, we were met with the same kind of resistance as we had when the lawyers were present.  Despite our repeated attempts to explain our position and reiterate industry standards, many of our proposals were met with simple rejections or deferrals (“let’s talk about something else”).  It turned out that even though the lawyers were out of the room, they were camped out in a conference room down the hall ready to (help) make the final decisions whenever we took breaks.  We were, once again, able to make some progress on small issues.  However, it is becoming increasingly clear that the sides have major philosophical differences in what the purpose of a contract should be.  Management seems to think that a contract is about money and power, while we think a contract is there to protect us in the workplace and provide us with a quality of life we can rely on.

More… Continue Reading Negotiations update…

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