American Federation of Musicians Files Charges Against Philadelphia Orchestra and Kimmel Center

By Francisco Salazar

The American Federation of Musicians, Local 77, has filed an unfair labor practice charge with the National Labor Relations Board against the management of the Philadelphia Orchestra and Kimmel Center, Inc. on behalf of the musicians of the Philadelphia Orchestra.

According to a press release, the charge alleges that the Orchestra management has failed to bargain in good faith with the musicians, has refused to respond to requests for information that is relevant to positions it has taken during the collective bargaining process, and has communicated misleading and incorrect information about both its own and the union’s, positions at the negotiating table. The official filing of charges can be viewed here.

In a statement, Ellen Trainer, president of the Philadelphia Musicians’s Union Local 77, “The management of the Philadelphia Orchestra has failed to respect the bargaining process for months, all while constantly disregarding the perspectives of the musicians that make the Philadelphia Orchestra possible. Even more, it has taken recent actions to communicate with musicians in a way that blatantly misrepresents what has been going on during negotiations. The union filed these charges because we believe that management’s actions have not only been disrespectful—they have also violated federal labor law.”

The POKC’s collective bargaining agreement with Local 77 expired on September 10, 2023.

The orchestra recently opened its 2023-24 season on Sept. 28 and performed without a contract. The orchestra gave the concert after months of negotiations failed to produce an agreement on a new contract.