Labor standoffs silence orchestras in Minn., Indy

By Patrick Condon

Associated Press

Published: Tuesday, Oct. 2 2012 2:16 p.m. MDT

Minnesota Orchestra musicians - locked out in contract dispute - rally In Minneapolis, Monday Oct. 1, 2012. Over half of the orchestra showed up for the 1 p.m. protest.

The Star Tribune,Richard Sennott) MANDATORY CREDIT; ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS OUT; MAGS OUT; TWIN CITIES TV OUT, Associated Press

Enlarge photo»

MINNEAPOLIS — Symphony orchestras around the nation are seeing the same kind of management-labor battles that have recently afflicted groups ranging from teachers to football referees.

The latest example is Minneapolis, where the musicians of the Minnesota Orchestra are locked out Tuesday after failing to reach a new contract with a management looking to cut the average salary by $46,000 a year.

That echoes an orchestra dispute in neighboring St. Paul as well as Indianapolis and several other cities. Symphony players recently settled in Chicago and Atlanta after contentious negotiations.

The labor disputes are canceling season opening performances as musicians take to picket lines. Orchestra administrators say they need to cut costs with the poor economy holding ticket sales flat and hurting corporate and private donations.

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