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AFM President Says Lockout Is 'Economic Terrorism'

AFM President Says Midnight Lockout of Minnesota Orchestra
Is Economic Terrorism

October 2, 2012

Contact: Antoinette Follett
(315) 422-4488 ext. 106

New York, NY —

American Federation of Musicians President Ray Hair reacted pointedly today toward the actions of the Minnesota Orchestral Association, which imposed a lockout against that orchestra’s musicians at midnight last night. “We condemn in the strongest terms the ongoing campaign of economic terrorism that management is waging against the musicians of this great orchestra,” said President Hair. “These musicians, members of Local 30-73 (St. Paul-Minneapolis, MN), have devoted their entire lives to maintaining a level of artistic excellence that has inspired the citizens of Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota, and the rest of the nation for many years. For management to resort to bullying tactics, abruptly cutting off salary and health care to obtain unjustified and unnecessary concessions is unconscionable and inhumane,” he said.

Management says its lockout actions are required “to protect the Minnesota Orchestra.” The organization has announced the cancellation of eight weeks of services—all concerts through November—and has demanded immediate pay cuts of 30% to 50% from the musicians.

Public information documents obtained by the Federation show that assets of the Minnesota Orchestral Association stood at $192.5 million on August 31, 2011, an increase of $9.4 million from the prior year. Salary information indicated that the institution’s president and CEO, Michael Hensen, earns $390,000 annually, while Music Director Osmo Vanska’s base compensation is $1 million per season.

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