Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra musicians have filed a federal labor complaint, accusing the management of “unfair labor practices.”
In the complaint, filed Tuesday with the National Labor Relations Board, the musicians union says that symphony management changed its access to Bass Hall after union members staged a sit-in at symphony offices last week.
“On Friday keycard access was deactivated to our workplace — curbing access we’ve had for years to maintain our equipment, get to our personal property, and prepare to perform,” the American Federation of Musicians Local 72-147, which represents the 80 musicians, said in a statement. “We believe this unilateral change in working conditions is illegal and was intended to punish us for exercising our legally-protected rights.”
Symphony management did not immediately return messages seeking comment Wednesday. Performing Arts Fort Worth, which manages Bass Hall, declined to comment on the issue.
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The union staged a sit-in last week after management canceled a scheduled negotiation meeting. At the time, orchestra President Amy Adkins said management simply postponed the meetings and planned to send new meeting dates to the union.
“We have been bargaining in good faith and will continue to do so,” Adkins said last week.
The two sides have been negotiating since June and have been unable to agree on musicians’ salaries in a new contract. In January, management proposed an 8 percent pay cut, largely through the reduction of paid time off, and the union authorized a strike as talks stalled.
After several tense weeks, the parties agreed to keep the musicians’ contract terms the same through July 31 while negotiations continued.