Executive Council Statement

Support Chicago Symphony Orchestra Musicians

The Chicago Symphony Orchestra is one of the greatest ensembles in the world, led by its hardworking and talented musicians, members of the American Federation of Musicians (AFM) Local 10-208.

The union’s agreement with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Association (CSOA) expired on March 10, 2019, and management is demanding that musicians terminate their defined benefit pension plan, which has provided a secure, guaranteed retirement for decades.

The CSOA is also proposing pay below the levels provided by other leading symphony orchestras, undermining its ability to attract and retain the best musicians and denying AFM members a fair share of record ticket sales.

Unfortunately, after nearly a year of negotiations, musicians have been forced on strike in order to protect themselves and the orchestra they love.

The AFL-CIO Executive Council unconditionally supports AFM in its effort to secure a fair labor agreement and preserve the stature and reputation of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. We urge the entire labor movement to assist our fellow union members on the picket line as they seek to conclude this strike and get back to making world-class music.