Below is a press release from Stewart Williams, President of American Federation of Musicians Local 72-147.
For immediate release
September 8, 2016
Musicians of the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra Call Strike
As of 12:30 today, after the second rehearsal for the opening Subscription concert of the 2016-17 Season, the Musicians of the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra (FWSO) and their representatives from the American Federation of Musicians Local 72-147, have officially called a strike.
Management issued its last, best and final offer yesterday morning when musicians met to resume negotiations. The musicians had come with plans to bargain, but were met with the same exact offer which the musicians rejected four days ago. Management also announced that this final offer would be implemented on Monday, a clear signal that management’s intention was to irresponsibly cease talks.
In 2010 the musicians accepted a 13.5% cut to help face recessionary economic conditions. But today, Fort Worth is one of the most thriving and growing cities in the nation, and ticket sales are on the rise. Reducing the budget has already caused musicians to leave the orchestra at twice the rate of the previous decade, and musicians refuse to agree to more damaging cuts.
After years of cuts and irresponsibly refusing to bargain further, the future of the FWSO is now at stake. The Musicians continue to call on Management to return to the bargaining table in the interest of coming to an agreement and ensuring the orchestra’s very existence.
“We want our audiences and the citizens of Fort Worth to know how much we regret that we are forced to take this extreme step,” said bassist and member of the musicians’ negotiating committee, Julie Vinsant. “We call on our management to come back to the table so that we can continue providing great music for our great city. We are very thankful for your continuing steadfast support.”
Press contact: Stewart Williams, President, American Federation of Musicians Local 72-147 firstname.lastname@example.org