More Musicians Lose FGO Jobs

I got an e-mail and a phone call this week from a principal string player in this season's Florida Grand Opera replacement orchestra. He took the job despite our warnings about lack of job security at FGO. He assumed that he was secure enough to not have to worry about being fired. Apparently he was wrong.

We began a campaign for job security at FGO about two years ago. However, sometimes musicians can be their own worst enemies, and instead of uniting and forcing the FGO to the table, some musicians instead helped the FGO to pit musician against musician and avoid any obligations the FGO might have to the musicians they employ. Ayn Rand said it best,

"Those of the same profession or of the same industry should stick together," the organizers of the Alliance had said. "We all have the same problems, the same interests, the same enemies. We waste our energy fighting one another, instead of presenting a common front to the world. We can all grow and prosper together, if we pool our resources."

If we work together, we can raise the standard for everyone. We can obtain job security for everyone. We can make working environments better for musicians. We just need to raise our expectations.  We can always be looking over our shoulders to keep the vultures at bay, or we can work together, investing in our future and in the future of the arts in south Florida. Once again, Ayn Rand seems to have summed it up,

Such is the future you are capable of winning. It requires a struggle; so does any human value. All life is a purposeful struggle, and your only choice is the choice of a goal. Do you wish to continue the battle of your present or do you wish to fight for my world? Do you wish to continue a struggle that consists of clinging to precarious ledges in a sliding descent to the abyss, a struggle where the hardships you endure are irreversible and the victories you win bring you closer to destruction? Or do you wish to undertake a struggle that consists of rising from ledge to ledge in a steady ascent to the top, a struggle where the hardships are investments in your future, and the victories bring you irreversibly closer to the world of your moral ideal, and should you die without reaching full sunlight, you will die on a level touched by its rays? Such is the choice before you.



Thanks Jeff!
Excellent article.
By the way, does any one know what is happening with the Cleveland Orchestra? Any news?
Wasn't this member one of the "tourists" you were picketing against in the fall? Now, when his situation benefits your argument, you support him.

The leadership of this local needs to get its message straight. Are you against the "replacement" orchestra, or are you in support of a CBA for whomever is in the pit? You can't have it both ways. If you truly want a CBA for an FGO orchestra, then you have to STOP doing everything humanly possible to drive FGO and its contractor away from the union.
The leadership of this Local has been consistent in its message that musicians' willingness to undercut each other has only served to benefit management and not to help musicians raise standards in south Florida.

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