#TBT October Work Stoppages Across The Past Decade

Knock on wood, it’s been a comparatively quiet beginning to the season regarding labor relations. Historically, strikes and lockouts tend to happen toward the front of the season and here’s a quick history of October based work stoppages over the past decade, broken down by year:

Adaptistration People 1792016








  • There were no orchestras on strike or locked out this month. How about that?



  • There were no orchestras on strike or locked out this month. There were a few close calls in Detroit and San Antonio plus Jacksonville ended up getting locked out the following month.

About Drew McManus

"I hear that every time you show up to work with an orchestra, people get fired." Those were the first words out of an executive's mouth after her board chair introduced us. That executive is now a dear colleague and friend but the day that consulting contract began with her orchestra, she was convinced I was a hatchet-man brought in by the board to clean house.

I understand where the trepidation comes from as a great deal of my consulting and technology provider work for arts organizations involves due diligence, separating fact from fiction, interpreting spin, as well as performance review and oversight. So yes, sometimes that work results in one or two individuals "aggressively embracing career change" but far more often than not, it reinforces and clarifies exactly what works and why.

In short, it doesn't matter if you know where all the bodies are buried if you can't keep your own clients out of the ground, and I'm fortunate enough to say that for more than 15 years, I've done exactly that for groups of all budget size from Qatar to Kathmandu.

For fun, I write a daily blog about the orchestra business, provide a platform for arts insiders to speak their mind, keep track of what people in this business get paid, help write a satirical cartoon about orchestra life, hack the arts, and love a good coffee drink.

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