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Just in: Minnesota Business Journal finds a silver lining in orchestra crisis

The Minneapolis / St. Paul Business Journal is looking on the bright side of the season-long lockout that has silenced the orchestra and caused many of its best musicians to flee the state.

Why, says its managing editor, the story just got covered in the New York Times. Most US orchs would give their back timps for that kind of press.

You think we’re kidding? Read the article.



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  1. Sorry, that is hardly “looking on the bright side”. They note that this is not the sort of coverage the orchestra would want. I think, if anything, they find it ironic.

  2. graeter says:

    NY Times: “You don’t have to take sides in the dispute to realize that nothing is being accomplished by the parties’ not speaking to each other.” I think it’s time for the musicians to start playing ball, and respond with a counterproposal.

  3. Oh yes, Graeter. A formal counterproposal is NOT necessarily needed, as has been pointed out many times. What’s needed is for mgmt to stop insulting both the musicians and the audience and admit that their “plan” isn’t working. They are stonewalling to the bitter end and don’t care if they destroy the orchestra in the process.

  4. PK Miller says:

    I agree w/Graeter above. Everyone needs to come to the table and begin serious negotiating. That means we give an inch, you give an inch and eventually we come to a compromise. (Not to be catty but it’s how it USED to work in the US Congress). NO ONE wants/relishes this kind of press coverage. All of you, stop acting like spoiled children, “I don’t wanna play in your yard. I don’t like you anymore…” (Don’t remember the rest of that ditty my mom always “sang,” for me!) See if you can’t salvage something–even a little mutual dignity. My dad had horror stories of a labor dispute at the plant where he worked–now a toxic waste dump no one wants to touch. People on both sides acted shabbily- crying “scabs,” of those who could not remain out of work, even filling their gas tanks with sand. Managers often had little clue what they were doing & almost blew up the plant. Please put the adults back in charge….

    • That was your dad’s experience. It doesn’t necessarily translate to this situation. So please inform yourself about what’s really going on (try for starters) because it’s not as simple as proposal-counterproposal. There were very good and legal reasons as to why the musicians did not issue a counterproposal.

      • graeter says:

        The only “good” reasons for musicians not to negotiate are so they can claim victimhood and hopefully get public support and sympathy. Doesn’t seem to be working — not in this economy.

        • Anonymous says:

          Graeter, management has not put anything substantive on the table to negotiate. As for the economy, the Dow Jones has added 15%, give or take, since January, and is in all-time high territory. Minneapolis unemployment is down to 5.1%, far below the 7.6% national average. At what point will the management stop using this as an excuse?

  5. Agreed that Mark Reilly is ironically highlighting what should be a celebration: coverage by none other than THE Times. The orchestra is a long-time staple to the Twin Cities, but with this lock-out it’s not the same pride and joy we’ve always held it as – it’s rather embarrassing to have this kind of national attention via a dispute like this.

  6. Daniel Farber says:

    The Minnesota Orchestra is far from being a “regional orchestra”. It has had eminent music directors throughout its history and has one of the greatest living conductors at the helm now. Its “profile” needs no enhancement. It is in desperate need of a season and an end to impasse. This business piece is moronic.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Management has said the financial points in their offer are final and non-negotiable, yet blame the musicians for not negotiating. The management put a gun to the musicians’ heads, cut off their salary and health insurance, yet bemoan the lack of civility in discussions.

    Until management gives some indication that anything substantive is on the table to discuss, I don’t see why either party should waste their time coming to the table in the first place.

  8. One wonders if, in the end, the strongest leverage the State might have over the MOA and to save the orchestra from further destruction would be, either a taking by eminent domain of the organization itself, or a taking of the new building now under construction. SInce the new hall is or would be the only serious orchestral concert venue in Minneapolis, the State would have the power to set some parameters that: (1) better reflected the community’s wishes about the operation and use of these community assets, and: (2) provided some labor justice for those who actually make the music. We have been experiencing tectonic shifts in the US and world economies and legal systems with huge transfers of wealth and power to an elite of fewer and fewer people. So, maybe it is time for the public to think more creatively, and not be constrained or handcuffed by the notions of privatization and free markets, especially where it concerns the operation and use of community assets.

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