The St. Paul Chamber Orchestra has locked out its union musicians, joining the Minneapolis-based Minnesota Orchestra in stopping the music over a bitter contract dispute, the Star Tribune reports.
On Sunday, the St. Paul group’s board canceled concerts through Nov. 4 after players failed to vote on an offer from management, which is seeking significant reductions in the orchestra’s size and musicians’ pay. The union has agreed to lesser wage cuts and wants the orchestra to raise ticket prices.
“After 10 months of negotiations, the Union and [management] agree that the SPCO faces a significant financial challenge, but the Union continues to reject that a significant reduction in the cost of the contract must be part of the solution,” said Dobson West, the orchestra’s president.
The Minnesota Orchestra’s musicians were locked out on Oct. 1 after rejecting what the organization’s management said was its final contract offer. It marks the first time since the St. Paul orchestra was founded in 1959 that neither of the Twin Cities’ major classical groups is playing.