Striking CSO musicians halt negotiations

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Monday, March 25, 2019
Striking CSO musicians to play free concerts
Striking Chicago Symphony Orchestra musicians got some high-profile support Tuesday as the organization cancels more concerts.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Striking Chicago Symphony Orchestra musicians halt negotiations as they continue to fight for better wages, health benefits, and retirement plans.

Sunday a spokesperson released a statement that said CSOA and the Chicago Federation of Musicians have "mutually agreed to take a break in their discussions regarding a new contract," and that "there are no further sessions scheduled at this time."

For the past two weeks, the two groups have been working to reach an agreement for a "generous and sustainable compensation package," but have yet to be satisfied.

RELATED: Chicago Symphony Orchestra musicians go on strike

"One of our issues is pension and pension is incredibly important to all of the unions, especially the musicians who have worked very hard to secure a good pension and we want to keep it," Terryl Jares, president of the Chicago Federation of Musicians.

Tuesday, the organization got some high-profile support as cast and crew members from "Hamilton," "A Bronx Tale," "Chicago Fire," "The Second City" and more joined the musicians of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra on the picket line.

RELATED: Striking CSO musicians to play free concerts, get support from 'Hamilton,' 'A Bronx Tale' cast members

Illinois' congressional delegation also joined the striking musicians Tuesday afternoon, demanding negotiations continue.

"We want to make sure the leaders come to the bargaining table and talk with workers and musicians who have made Chicago have the number one symphony in the United States," said Rep. Jan Schakowsky (IL-9).

CSO Musicians held a free concert Sunday night to say thank you to the people of Chicago during their fight for a fair contract.

All other Chicago Symphony Orchestra Association concerts continue to be canceled.

For more information on the concerts, visit the musicians' Facebook page and to reserve a seat for the free concert on Friday, click here.