There Are No Toxic Avengers

The 3/15/2021 edition of the New York Times published an article by Julia Jacobs that reports on the beleaguered Metropolitan Opera’s efforts to wage labor war on multiple fronts. Spoiler: it’s no better than where it was a few months ago. Having said that, there was one piece of news that should draw attention. Over the past year, 10 of the orchestra’s 97 members have retired. At just a hair over …

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Colorado Springs Philharmonic Finds Itself On The AFM’s Unfair List

On 3/11/21 the musicians of the Colorado Springs Philharmonic (CSPhil) issued a press statement announcing the orchestra has been placed on the American Federation of Musicians (AFM) International Unfair List. This decision is the latest waypoint following the employer’s decision to use force majeure to cancel the union contract. Perhaps unsurprisingly, this went over like a lead balloon and since then, tensions have systematically increased. Musicians have volunteered to waive an …

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Ultimatum To Fort Wayne Phil Musicians Earns Employer A NLRB Trial Date

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 …

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Gelb’s Puzzling Threshold For “Best Relationships”

The Associated Press published an article on 1/28/2021 by Ronald Blum that examines The Metropolitan Opera’s finances. Nutshell: they saw the same drop in earned income other groups are experiencing but offset that in part by increased unearned income. In and of itself, there’s nothing remarkable there but what should catch your eye is the spin Met general manager Peter Gelb put on that story. “The good news is that we’ve managed …

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The Latest Waypoint In The Met’s Ugly Labor War

The Met is seeing a surge in negative feedback across their social media channels in response to the executive leadership’s decision to weaponize the negotiation process. By that, we mean it decided to cut off artist and technical employees from all current wages and insurance unless they agree to sizable long-term concessions. In an attempt to bolster good will and maintain audience engagement, the Met decided to release archived recordings from …

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