Radio City Management Tried to Replace Musicians in Labor Dispute With Out-of-Work Louisiana Philharmonic Players

Classic Arts News   Radio City Management Tried to Replace Musicians in Labor Dispute With Out-of-Work Louisiana Philharmonic Players
 
Musicians from the Louisiana Philharmonic, displaced by Hurricane Katrina, have turned down the opportunity to play in place of Radio City Music Hall's musicians, the New York Times reports.

The Louisiana musicians were offered the job of performing in the ten-week run of the Radio City Christmas Spectacular. They didn't know, when the offer was made, that the Radio City musicians were in the midst of a labor dispute, and had authorized a strike.

Mollie Pate, the Louisiana Philharmonic's principal horn player, told the Times, "We're totally out of work, but I would never stoop so low to take somebody else's gig."

The musicians were approached about the Radio City engagement by a New Orleans agent who, according to the musician he approached, seemed not to know about the labor dispute.

Barry Watkins, a spokesman for Radio City Entertainment, did not comment on hiring musicians to replace the striking orchestra, but said, "Once [the musicians] threatened to strike, we had no choice but to explore all alternatives."

Local 802 of the American Federation of Musicians, the organization that represents the New York musicians, has called for a rally on October 26, and has alerted its members to Radio City Entertainment's actions.

The Radio City musicians, whose contract expired last May, say that management is trying to cut back their overtime pay.

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