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FGO Update

You may or may not be aware of the situation that currently exists between the Florida Grand Opera management and the musicians who have performed in the FGO orchestra for the past 7 seasons (and some for more than two decades).  The opera's management has showed callous disregard for the years of service and dedication the musicians have provided and has decided to make a deal with a new orchestral contractor, Alfredo Oliva, apparently giving him carte blanche to hire whomever he chooses for this coming season, even if that means musicians from out of town or students.

The FGO management and Alfredo Oliva have both refused many requests to meet either with representatives of the FGO orchestra musicians or with Local 655.

The Local Executive Board believes that now is the time for musicians to show unity and refuse to continue to work at the mercy of management's whims.  We want the musicians of the FGO orchestra to be acknowledged as the actual employees of FGO, with a collective bargaining agreement and the job security they deserve.  The opera, however, simply wants to continue to hire musicians through one independent contractor after another, grabbing the least binding situation they can, with no legal assurances or protections for the musicians.  Musicians could once again suddenly be out of the work they count on.

It is perhaps a little-known fact that the orchestra is the only element of the production which has no CBA – the chorus, the stagehands, the wardrobe department all operate with union contracts.  There is no reason why the orchestra musicians should not be afforded the same respect and job security, a guarantee which the musicians of the Palm Beach Opera orchestra enjoy and deserve.

We believe that musicians contribute an invaluable service to our community, and that only by standing together will we finally be able to receive the respect, security, compensation, and recognition that we deserve.

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