St. Paul Chamber Orchestra musicians were unanimous in their rejection of management's four-year contract offer Wednesday. The SPCO locked out the musicians ten days earlier when they failed to vote on the deal. Concerts through this weekend have already been cancelled and more cancellations will likely follow Wednesday's rejection.
The St. Paul Chamber is grappling with the same financial pressures that plague the Minnesota Orchestra and several other groups around the country. The Star Tribune looked this week at the trend in labor disputes for management to take the initiative by locking out workers before they strike.
In the case of the Minnesota Orchestra, money spent renovating Orchestra Hall in Minneapolis has added to the bitterness musicians feel. KSTP recently talked with orchestra management about the renovation and the lockout.