DETROIT (WWJ) – Members of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra have been on strike for more than five months and businesses around Orchestra Hall say they are losing customers and money.
WWJ’s Vickie Thomas talked to Greg Gedda, owner of Union Street Saloon, which is steps from Orchestra Hall. He said the protracted strike is taking a big bite out of business, about $15,000 a month.
“It’s tough. This is my team. I don’t know who can intervene. Anybody that can intervene should work down on this and get this done. I hope for the highest good for everybody involved that a settlement comes and it gets promoted right away,” Gedda said.
Bud Leibler owns The Whitney Restaurant and he said despite the loss of the symphony, things are going well.
“We miss the symphony people. We had a lot of regulars who came down here before symphony performances, so we’ve lost a lot of business because of the DSO strike,” Leibler said. “Fortunately, we’ve picked up in a lot of other areas and it’s been terrific.”
Liebler said the community is losing out on being able to hear a world-class orchestra.
“You want things like the Detroit Symphony, the Detroit Institute of Arts, those kinds of things. You want them to be going, growing, viable organizations. So I think we lose something there and I think there’s a sense of pride, that this community needs every bit of pride it can get. Whether it’s the Tigers in the World Series or the Red Wings and the Stanley Cup or the Detroit Symphony on the stage at Orchestra Hall,” Liebler said.
DSO leaders and board members are scheduled to meet late Wednesday to discuss the possibility of resolution.