Detroit Symphony Orchestra Strikes


Detroit Symphony Orchestra musicians go on strike
Oct. 4, 2010

Musicians dressed in tuxedos and black performance attire hit the picket line Monday after refusing to accept pay cuts of more than 30 percent demanded by the financially struggling Detroit Symphony Orchestra.

Musicians would normally be preparing this week for their first, still-scheduled performances at the Max M. Fisher Music Center in downtown Detroit and elsewhere. Instead, about 65 of them marched in front of center while a French horn quartet composed of orchestra musicians serenaded their picketing colleagues. They carried signs reading “DSO Quality since 1887,” “On strike DSO unfair” and “Keep your DSO in the Top 10.”

Haden McKay, a cellist and spokesman for the musicians, called the strike “the only weapon we have” to keep the orchestra from being permanently harmed.

“If we were to continue to work under their contract, we would see a very bad talent drain,” said McKay, a 27-year orchestra veteran. “Some of our top players are already getting phone calls from all around the country.”

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