St. Louis Symphony Management and Musicians Agree to Mediation

Classic Arts News   St. Louis Symphony Management and Musicians Agree to Mediation
Negotiators for the St. Louis Symphony's management and musicians have agreed to meet with a federal mediator in an effort to end the work stoppage that has silenced the orchestra since January 3.

Jeff Trammel, a spokesman for the orchestra, said by email today that a date for an initial meeting had not yet been set. "Mediation is expected to begin next week," he added.

According to news reports, the union had previously proposed former SLSO executive director Peter Pastreich as a mediator, but management said he was too close to union lawyer Leonard Leibowitz. More recently, management asserted that the union's failure to file a legal document with the National Labor Relations Board meant that the work stoppage was an illegal strike.

"Mediation was always an option was always an option for us, but the musician's illegal strike slowed and complicated the process," Trammel said. "We are looking forward to starting the mediation process and remain optimistic it will lead to positive results."

The major issue in the labor crisis is salary, with management insisting that the orchestra cannot afford to give musicians a raise.

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