Striking DSO Musicians Meet With Conductor

There seems to be lots of activity behind the scenes to end the 11-week strike by the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. For the first time since the musicians went on strike, DSO conductor Leonard Slatkin has met with the striking musicians to hear their side of the matter.

Hayden McKay, cellist and spokesman for the musicians, tells WWJ they respect Slatkin. “We’re hoping he can be a positive force as a man a little bit in the middle, to convince the board of directors and the management that maybe there’s a better way than what they’re trying to do,” says McKay.

Mckay adds, “[Slatkin] doesn’t want to be the broker or the person who starts negotiating, but he could play a role because he’s someone who’s very respected by not only the community but by both sides.”

The Detroit Symphony Orchestra has cancelled its performances for the rest of the year because of the continuing musicians’ strike.

The orchestra on Monday announced that the Home for the Holidays concerts scheduled for Thursday through Sunday as well as a Dec. 21 concert featuring Canadian Brass had been cancelled.

The orchestra says concerts in January and beyond remain on the schedule conditional upon a deal being reached with musicians.

Musicians have been on the picket line since Oct. 4. Management of the financially struggling orchestra implemented a 33 percent base pay cut in the first year of the new contract. Musicians had offered a 22 percent reduction.

(Copyright, 2010. WWJ Newsradio 950, All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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