Fort Wayne, IN (December 8, 2022) — Today’s announcement of a musicians’ union strike is disappointing to The Fort Wayne Philharmonic, its patrons and public that looks forward to the traditional, must enjoyed holiday concerts. The Philharmonic’s leadership learned about the pending strike from media that were informed about the intention to strike by union representatives earlier in the day.
“We are deeply disappointed to learn about the union’s intention to strike if there is no agreement today,” said Philharmonic President and CEO Brittany Hall, who was in negotiations with union representatives early today. “We have negotiated in good faith since August, and our hope is to collaborate with the musicians and reach a new agreement that will be a foundation for the long-term future of the Philharmonic and its important role in the community.”
Contract negotiations have stalled as the musicians’ union is demanding a 46 percent wage increase, an increase Hall said is unreasonable and could never be sustained.
“We are committed to the long-term health and wellbeing of the Philharmonic as we stabilize post-pandemic and to maintaining a quality orchestra with quality professional musicians. Our community deserves it.”
Thus far, the union has rejected the Philharmonic’s request to have a mediator come in as a third party to assist in negotiation efforts prior to announcing the strike. With the announcement of the strike the union has agreed to bring in a mediator.
The Philharmonic will continue actively negotiating with the union representatives to reach a new contract when the union agrees to return to the bargaining table. Committed to professional standards and the integrity of the Philharmonic and the musicians, Hall said the organization will not discuss negotiations through the media, and instead seek honest face-to-face discussions that are fair to all.
The Philharmonic is an important part of the downtown revitalization and growth and is developing plans that will keep it a cultural leader and an active part of the Fort Wayne region and the quality of life for people living here. As Fort Wayne grows and thrives, the Philharmonic will continue to provide musicians opportunities for deeper integration into the community through performances both at the Embassy and in nearly cities, in schools, nursing homes, and as part of holiday traditions.