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THE UNION FOR THE MUSICIANS of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, late this June, refused to sign a contract that would cut its unionized musicians’ income by some 20 percent. The musicians were, in turn, locked out by management, which meant facing months without pay or health care. In a Baltimore Sun article, orchestra members told of their fears about losing homes and caring for sick loved ones. Perhaps the most striking interview in the report comes from a twenty-seven-year-old violinist who had done everything right: she was talented and worked intensively; after college she rose through the ranks from the second to the first violin section, finally landing her dream job with a union symphony. But before that, she went to the right schools, Oberlin Conservatory and the Manhattan School of Music, at a cost of over $100,000 in student loan debt. This was debt she was determined to pay off by the time she was forty, if she continued her frugal lifestyle, living with a roommate near the concert hall. And now, here she was walking the picket line with her railroaded colleagues, who had also done everything right.

full: https://thebaffler.com/salvos/strike-with-the-band-wagner
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