Lancaster Symphony musicians to vote on unionization

Posted on: January 11, 2012

In Wednesday’s (1/11) Intelligencer-Journal (Lancaster, Pennsylvania), Tim Mekeel reports, “Lancaster Symphony Orchestra musicians will choose in late February whether to unionize, five years after the effort to unionize began. The 127 musicians eligible to vote will get ballots in the mail. They’ll be counted March 1, according to the National Labor Relations Board. Mail ballots will be used because of the difficulty of getting ‘all the people in one place at one time,’ NLRB official John Breese said Tuesday. Though most of the symphony musicians live in south central Pennsylvania, some live as far away as Baltimore and Philadelphia. The vote was triggered by a late December ruling by the NLRB that the musicians are symphony employees and therefore eligible to unionize. The symphony had opposed the unionization vote by contending that the musicians are independent contractors. The NLRB’s 2-1 decision overturned a 2007 ruling by the agency’s regional office in favor of the symphony. … Breese, assistant to the NLRB’s Philadelphia regional director, said ballots will be mailed on Feb. 15 to the symphony musicians who are eligible to vote. … Ballots need to be back in the NLRB’s hands by Feb. 29. They’ll be counted the next day, with the majority of valid votes cast determining the outcome, Breese said.” The Lancaster Symphony Orchestra made its debut in 1947. The orchestra is managed by a professional staff; orchestra personnel are currently contracted for each concert series.

Posted January 11, 2012