Friday, January 11, 2013

the lockouts

A lockout (per Wikipedia):  "A lockout is a temporary work stoppage or denial of employment during a labor dispute initiated by the management of a company."

Lockouts have been in the news.  There of course is the National Hockey League lockout, which has recently been settled but cut short the hockey season by about three months and left hockey fans disgruntled and maybe not caring too much anymore (except for my son Tom, who loves the Minnesota Wild).

More immediate in Minnesota are the lockouts of the two major orchestras here:  The Minnesota Orchestra and the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, both of which have been "locked out" since early autumn.

It's hard to have a season with my no orchestra concerts, and it's hard to know that a prolonged silence will endanger the future of both organizations.  In the meantime, there are highly talented orchestra members who are receiving no paychecks and could start leaving for other cities.

Jerry co-hosted a fundraiser last night for Minnesota Orchestra musicians.  A quintet played Mozart for the crowd, and the members updated the audience on the lockout situation, which doesn't seem too close to ending.  The Board is negotiating to have musicians take as much as a 50% pay cut, so it's easy to see why the union can't accept.

The Minnesota Orchestra is one of the top orchestras in the country.  It would be a shame to see it drop into the next tier of lesser orchestras.

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