Musicians reach accord with BSO

August 02, 1996|By Holly Selby

After 10 1/2 months -- the longest any major American orchestra has ever performed without a labor agreement -- the musicians and management of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra yesterday announced that they have reached a tentative agreement on a new contract.

The musicians have been rehearsing and performing in concerts without a contract since Sept. 16 -- when the previous agreement expired. No details about the new agreement, which still needs to be ratified by the members of the American Federation of Musicians Local 40-543, were available because both parties have agreed to a "news blackout" so negotiations can be conducted in private.

The blackout, which has lasted for the entire negotiations and has been for the most part honored by both sides, is intended to deflate tensions -- and to avoid the bitterness and long-lasting problems that followed a six-month strike by musicians in 1987. That strike was the longest-lasting strike in the history of major American orchestras.

A ratification meeting for the musicians is tentatively set for tomorrow.

Pub Date: 8/02/96

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