Chicago Symphony Orchestra Finished A Performance, Then Went Out On Strike

Image credit:, Photo: Todd Rosenberg

CHICAGO, IL—On Sunday, members of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Association finished a performance, negotiated all evening, then went out on strike, according to the Associated Press.

They say in a news release that picket lines will form starting at 8 a.m. Monday. They say management is still trying to reduce their pension benefits after nearly a year of negotiations.

According to a summary [in PDF] of the compensation provided by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, CSO musicians average wage was $187,500 under their now-expired contract.

However, the Orchestra’s pension liability—which is what is the main sticking point in negotiations—is $36,000,000 over the next years.

The CSO’s contract with its musicians expired Sept. 17, 2018, but was extended to March 10, reported the AP.

“All CSO and Symphony Center Presents concerts and related events scheduled for March 14 through 19 are canceled due to a strike by CSO musicians,” the CSO stated on its website.


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