News: As ASO lockout enters its second week with no end in sight, key issues come into focus | September 15, 2014 by Jenny Jarvie ArtsATL.com
Kevin Case, a Chicago arts labor attorney, said that ASO management’s demand to change such significant conditions of employment at will amounts to a clear case of union busting. “If one party is unilaterally determining the terms and conditions of employment, it defeats the whole purpose of having a collective bargaining agreement,” he said. “It makes the contract meaningless.”
After having agreed to severe cuts in pay and the size of the orchestra in 2012, musicians argue that management’s proposal will further erode the orchestra’s standing as a world class orchestra. In its nearly 70-year history, under such esteemed music directors as Robert Shaw and now Spano, the ASO has gained worldwide acclaim and recorded more than 100 albums and racked up 27 Grammy Awards in such categories as Best Classical Album and Best Orchestral Performance.
“Management doesn’t seem to want to make any sort of commitment to upholding high artistic standards,” said Jessica Oudin, a violist on the ASO Players’ Association’s negotiating committee. Oudin emphasized that the division between musicians is not just financial but philosophical. “Those entrusted with the future of the orchestra don’t seem to have a vision that would support its growth.”