United States musicians, teachers on strike

This 17 June 2019 video from the USA says about itself:

Musicians picket after Baltimore Symphony Orchestra locks them out

The management of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra locked out its musicians at midnight Sunday. The BSO Board of Directors approved the lockout Sunday. The lockout comes after months of stalled negotiations between the musicians’ union and management. With no agreement between musicians and management reached, the lockout took effect at midnight.

By Dmitri Church and Harvey Simpkins in the USA:

Baltimore Symphony Orchestra musicians reject contract proposals, launch strike

17 September 2019

On September 10, the musicians of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra voted down two contract proposals from the symphony’s Board of Directors. The workers, who have been locked out since June 16, are now on strike, refusing to return to work on September 9 when the Board reopened the symphony for the fall concert season.

The conflict between the musicians and management continues to center on the Board’s unilateral cancellation of the 2019 summer season, with management insisting on a permanent end to all future summer sessions. Most of the musicians have not been paid since June 14, after the BSO’s Board unilaterally eliminated the summer season and then locked out the musicians. The musicians have each lost about $20,000 in pay due to the lockout. …

Many fans and community members expressed support for the musicians and denounced management in the comments. One wrote, “I am outraged and heartbroken that the world-class musicians of this great orchestra are being treated so badly, as well as their precious audience members and supporters. I will continue to believe in the long-term flourishing of the orchestra, but I am so sorry for this painful period of uncertainty and injustice. Sending support. Will return to stand on the picket line with you. Honored to do so.” Many others expressed that the current management should be replaced.

The situation for symphony workers at the BSO and the attack on the right to culture is part of a national trend. While unlimited funds are provided for the military and local police departments, the already meager funding for the arts is routinely slashed.

In the BSO’s case, the Maryland General Assembly passed legislation providing an additional $1.6 million for it in the 2020 fiscal year budget and another $1.6 million for the following year. However, Maryland Governor Larry Hogan refused to release the funds, which represent more than half the wages and benefits lost by the musicians during the lockout. [BSO percusionist] Prechtl told the Baltimore Sun that if the additional state funding was made available, “We would be at work this week. I can guarantee it.” …

During their strike, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra sent a powerful message by playing free concerts, engaging many members of the community who would not otherwise have the opportunity to hear orchestral music live. BSO musicians are doing the same. On Saturday, they performed a concert before a packed audience at New Shiloh Baptist Church in impoverished west Baltimore. This refutes claims by some that classical music is the province only of the rich, and that the working class is not interested in such performances.

The majority of people in Baltimore and around the world do not want to see classical music confined to recordings and academic study. It is up to musicians to connect their struggle with the struggle of workers globally for better wages. As capital abandons any cultivation of the arts in a blind pursuit of profit, only the working class can ensure that human culture continues to develop.

This 3 May 2018 video says about itself:

Puerto Rico Teachers Rally to Save Schools

Teachers and community members surrounded the Capitol Building in San Juan to symbolize a “Shield To Protect Public Education in Puerto Rico.” The latest round of proposed school closures would bring the total to 450 in one year, with a devastating impact on families, as the island works to recover from Hurricanes Irma and Maria.

By Dan Conway in the USA:

Teachers set to strike in southern Alaska

17 September 2019

Teachers in southern Alaska will begin striking on Tuesday, joining the continuing movement of teachers in the US and around the globe who have, over the past two years, come out in force to fight for decent wages and benefits and better conditions for students. Educators in the 42 schools of the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District (KPBSD) in southern Alaska had already voted by 75 percent in favor of strike again in the district that serves 9,000 students. The Kenai teachers have been working without a contract for more than 441 days and took the strike vote more than four months ago.

Bargaining between the two sides has continued for almost two years. The Kenai school district is located in the South Central region of Alaska, the state’s most populous area, which includes the city of Anchorage.

1 thought on “United States musicians, teachers on strike

  1. Pingback: Chilean regime kills, people don’t give up | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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