Musicians from the New York Philharmonic, the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and the NYCB rally for a fair deal
They will be joined by musicians from the New York Philharmonic, Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and New York City Ballet, as well as elected officials and other union supporters.
The orchestra of Distinguished Concerts International New Yorkmany of whom are members of the NYC Musicians Union (AFM Local 802), seeks a fair deal from DCINY, a for-profit company that produces concerts at Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center.
The orchestra successfully formed a union with AFM Local 802 three years ago. But their employer still refuses to sign a first contract that offers job security and meaningful hiring provisions, union wages in line with regional standards, pension and health contributions, registration of payments, etc.
For more than a decade, DCINY has operated as a music producer and presenter at Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center. For many of its choral concerts, DCINY brings together choirs of amateur singers from around the world who pay fees to perform at New York’s most prominent venues. DCINY then hires a professional orchestra, soloists and conductors.
The company resumed live performances in 2022 and immediately replaced the full professional orchestra with a handful of musicians. The company also replaced professional musicians with an amateur high school ensemble. The musicians fought back with a high-profile musical protest at Carnegie Hall in June that brought massive visibility to their campaign.
Percussionist Andy Blanco, who plays in the orchestra and sits on the musicians’ bargaining committee, said: “While we enjoy the work of playing in this orchestra, it often involves unreasonably long rehearsals with inadequate breaks; intense and physically demanding performance days; and an atmosphere of fear due to frequent retaliation for voicing concerns to management. We have no contract, receive no benefits of any kind, and have no guarantees that we will be hired for future engagements. To address these issues, we came together with the support of Local 802 to negotiate a fair collective agreement that allows musicians to voice our concerns without fear of reprisal. »
Management refused to schedule negotiations with the union for several months. This deadlock was finally broken after Local 802 has filed an unfair labor practice complaint against the company this was settled when DCINY agreed to regular trading. The company was also charged with additional charges Unfair labor practices, which are currently ongoing.
Violinist Tallie Brunfelt, a member of both the orchestra and the bargaining committee, said, “This fight is not just about our orchestra. It’s about maintaining professional standards for musicians everywhere, but especially in the important venues that our company uses as home bases. for his concerts.
“An injury to one is an injury to all,” said Local 802 President Tino Gagliardi. “We must uphold professional standards, especially when an employer hires musicians to perform at iconic venues like Carnegie Hall or Lincoln Center. We demand a fair contract for DCINY musicians.”
“Musicians are raising their voices for fair treatment and professional standards,” said Local 802 Vice President Harvey Mars, who is leading the negotiations on behalf of the musicians and the union. “The full DCINY orchestra has demonstrated its willingness to perform, despite DCINY’s refusal to hire a full orchestra or offer meaningful job security and hiring standards, pension and health contributions , protection against unauthorized recordings and other professional standards. Musicians deserve a fair contract now!”