The ongoing labor dispute between the Fort Wayne Philharmonic and its musicians crossed another milestone last week when the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) issued a complaint against the employer.
According to the musicians who filed complaint 25-CA-268849 on 11/10/2020, the employer allegedly refused to bargain in good faith and engaged in surface bargaining (merely going through the motions) and/or direct dealing (circumventing elected negotiating representatives and attempting to bargain directly with individuals).
According to a Wayne.com news article by Corinne More, the trial has been set for June 2, 2021 before a NLRB administrative law judge.
Fort Wayne has earned the dubious distinction of being one of the most bitter pandemic era labor disputes. It’s so bad, it earned them a rare spot on the American Federation of Musicians (AFM) International Unfair List.
According to a 2/25/2021 musician press statement, the employer has been pushing to reduce the number of contracted musicians from 63 to 15.
Throughout the dispute, the musicians have filed multiple unfair labor charges with the NLRB but not all have been successful. Complaint 25-CA-267158, filled on 10/05/2020, was dismissed on 1/22/2021, however the charge has yet to be closed and is under review following an appeal submitted by the musicians.