Classical musicians in Spokane stood outside their theater this weekend, lifting picket signs instead of instruments. Musicians with the Spokane Symphony are entering week two of a strike over pay cuts. Five concerts have been canceled so far.
Spokane joins a growing list of cities this fall where symphonies have become embroiled in labor disputes – including Seattle, Chicago, and Philadelphia.
Adam Wallstein is the principal timpanist with the Spokane Symphony.
Wallstein: “It's certainly a regrettable situation. We'd much rather be inside, where it's warm, and where we can do what we love to do, what we're trained to do. Unfortunately, before we can do that, we need to have an agreement with can live with.”
Managers of the Spokane Symphony say the weak economy and declining ticket sales are forcing them to make cutbacks.
Musicians say the deal on the table limits their ability to accept outside work to supplement their symphony salary – which is around $17,000 a year.
Copyright 2012 Northwest Public Radio