FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: ED MALAGA
METROPOLITAN WASHINGTON D.C. FEDERATION OF MUSICIANS, AFM LOCAL 161-710
KENNEDY CENTER UNILATERALLY CUTS OFF NATIONAL SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA MUSICIANS’ PAY
Washington, D.C., March 28, 2020 –
Yesterday, on the same day that President Trump signed into law a stimulus package that specifically appropriated $25 million to the Kennedy Center to be used for operating expenses including employee compensation, Kennedy Center President Deborah Rutter abruptly advised the musicians of the National Symphony Orchestra that they will not be paid after next week.
This decision, from an organization with an endowment of nearly $100 million, is not only outrageous – coming after the musicians had expressed their willingness to discuss ways to accommodate the Kennedy Center during this challenging time – it is also blatantly illegal under the parties’ collective bargaining agreement. That agreement specifically requires that the Center provide six weeks’ notice before it can stop paying musicians for economic reasons.
The Metropolitan Washington D.C. Federation of Musicians, which represents the National Symphony Orchestra musicians, has filed a grievance challenging the Kennedy Center’s illegal action. A copy of the grievance is attached to this email.
The Metropolitan Washington D.C. Federation of Musicians, American Federation of Musicians Local 161-710, has been serving Washington area musicians since 1901 and continues to be an effective advocate for musicians’ rights in the workplace, be that a nightclub, symphony stage, opera pit, recording studio or on tour.