Just when you thought the Louisville Orchestra (LO) labor dispute couldn’t get more bizarre, it manages to surprise. Just before Thanksgiving, the orchestra’s replacement musician advertisements started appearing on dozens of Craigslist job boards. For those who may be unfamiliar with Craigslist, it a national online classifieds forum and a self described location where visitors can find “jobs, housing, goods, services, romance, local activities, advice – just about anything really.”
At the same time, social opinion about the nature of posts at Craigslist tend to be ripe for parody. For example, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart uses Craigslist as a regular punch line, like this one from 2009:
“Free Ikea end tables in exchange for a [bleep] job.” They’ve got everything!
And this one from 2011:
“You can bang girls on Craigslist or you can be in Congress, but you can’t do both.”
But one of the realities of Craigslist is there’s no way to verify the author of any given post so in order to find out whether or not the LO is posting the ads I contacted Robert Birman, LO CEO.
“It is true that the Louisville Orchestra has used Craigslist as one means of distributing its announcement of a national call for applications for positions,” wrote Birman in an email message from 11/30/2011. “As a social media tool, Craigslist serves a broad constituency and has become one of many standard vehicles employers use to advertise job openings.”
So there you have it, the LO is indeed the source of the Craigslist posts.
In a related item, there has been a bit of discussion at some online orchestra musician discussion forums claiming that the LO has been contacting non-Louisville based orchestra musicians directly via email and inviting them to apply for open positions. But according to Birman, this isn’t the case.
“No,” wrote Briman in an email message from 11/30/2011. “We do, however, reply to musicians who contact us seeking information concerning available positions.”
If nothing else, it is clear that the LO intends to move forward with their attempts to hire permanent replacement musicians.
What do you think about all of this?