September 8, 2014 by Norman Lebrecht
What Atlanta was telling its players was that the 2012 one-time-only cut was just a sampler. From now on it was going to be cuts all the way – not just in pay but in jobs as well, with one-third of the orchestra to be removed by natural or unnatural causes.
It was an offer the players had to refuse, and one which the company did not expect them to accept. Labor lawyer Kevin Case writes: ‘As an attorney, I cannot envision any scenario in which I would advise my musician or union clients to accept the kind of demands the ASO is making. [...] It makes a mockery of the protections afforded by the National Labor Relations Act and the entire scheme of federal labor law.’
Atlanta planned its lockout for eight months and was ready with all the PR and legal paraphanalia the moment midnight chimed.