AFM Local 802 on Strike Against DCINY
The New York City musicians' union, AFM Local 802 has announced a strike against Distinguished Concerts International New York, a for-profit company that produces concerts at Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center and that boasts a roster of 257 musicians. Members in the DCINY orchestra voted overwhelmingly to authorize the strike in a secret-ballot vote.
Musicians are fighting for a fair contract. "We'd rather be playing music for the public than walking a picket line," said DCINY percussionist Andy Blanco and violinist Tallie Brunfelt in a joint statement. "As long as DCINY continues to reject the fundamental aspects of a union contract, we have no choice but to strike."
The orchestra's journey towards a union contract began in 2019, when they won the first step of union recognition. The company eventually retaliated by replacing the full orchestra with just a handful of musicians, including an unpaid amateur high school ensemble. Musicians fought back with a high-profile musical protest at Carnegie Hall that brought massive visibility to their campaign. To date, DCINY management still refuses to sign an agreement that offers meaningful job security and hiring provisions, professional wages, pension and health contributions, recording payments, and more.
A rally with striking musicians and elected officials will take place in front of Carnegie Hall on Monday, Feb. 20 at 6pm, scroll down to upcoming events for details and follow the union on Twitter and Instagram!