CHICAGO (AP) — Striking musicians at the Chicago Symphony Orchestra are grabbing picket signs instead of piccolos after a lack of progress in contract talks.
The musicians picketed Monday in front of Orchestra Hall, a day after announcing they were going on strike. They say management is trying to reduce their pension benefits after nearly a year of negotiations.
The previous contract expired last September and had been extended to last weekend.
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Jeff Alexander, president of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Association, says management is disappointed by the strike. The orchestra says in a statement that musicians are making demands that are “unreasonable and detrimental.”
The orchestra acknowledges that retirement benefits are at the center of the dispute. The average annual salary is $187,000.
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