AFM calls in federal mediator for Philly Pops contract dispute

Posted on: June 29, 2012

In other Philadelphia news, Peter Dobrin reports in Thursday’s (6/28) Philadelphia Inquirer: “Saying it does not believe the Philly Pops can last without Peter Nero and an orderly passing of the baton to a successor, the local American Federation of Musicians is calling in a federal mediator in the dispute over Nero’s contract. The move to oust the 78-year-old Nero by Encore Series Inc. (ESI) ‘causes the union to have grave doubts about the continued viability of ESI and the Philly Pops,’ wrote union lawyer Michael N. Katz in a letter to ESI’s lawyer. ‘It is our conclusion that neither ESI nor the Philly Pops can survive, over the course of the next year let alone the next 41/2 years of our recently negotiated collective bargaining agreement, in the absence of Mr. Nero and a carefully planned and mapped-out transition to a successor music director upon his retirement. Accordingly, as a major stakeholder in ESI’s bankruptcy, we cannot support a plan of reorganization that provides for the revocation of Mr. Nero’s contract and the termination of his involvement with the Philly Pops.’ ESI filed a motion in Bankruptcy Court June 11 rejecting Nero’s contract after ESI proposed a 40 percent cut in his compensation and talks with the Pops’ founding music director failed to produce a new pact.”

Posted June 29, 2012