What Fresh Hell Is This?

October 6, 2016

Pittsburgh Symphony Responds

Apologies, as I should have noticed this before last night's post.

Symphony management is already "clarifying" the threat they sent to all the PSO musicians on October 4.

Let me remind you of what they sent. In part, it read:
You must realize that the PSI has an obligation to keep Heinz Hall open and operating to serve our patrons and others as they expect and as may be required. In order to do so, it may require us to hire replacement workers, either on a temporary or permanent basis, as will be determined by the business necessity that we face.
Yesterday afternoon, the P-G's Elizabeth Bloom wrote:
But COO Christian Schornich, who sent the letter to the orchestra players on strike, said that statement is simply a legal formality in the case of a strike and that the organization has “no intention” of hiring replacement musicians to play orchestra concerts.
Legal formality?  Sure it was.  Look again at the text of the letter.  In order to "serve our patrons as they expect" (presumably with concerts and the like) management "has an obligation to keep Heinz Hall open" and doing so might require hiring replacement workers.

Just who were they thinking of replacing?  The very nice folks who hand out the programs and show you to your seats?  The very nice folks who sell you your tickets at the ticket counter?

No.  They were referring to the 90 or so people actually making the music on the stage.

Which makes the afternoon's walk-back so insultingly obvious.

Bloom quoted:
“I don’t want to even go there,” Mr. Schornich said, referring to the possibility of hiring an orchestra of non-PSO musicians. “There’s no intention behind this.”

But I gotta ask this one thing, I just gotta.  If there's no intention for hiring replacements, then why did you include it in the letter in the first place?

Note to the management: This was not a good day for you.  You blinked.

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