San Francisco Strike

A tourist asked a passer-by: "How do I get to the Philharmonic?" "Practice, practice, practice," was the local's answer. This joke, which admittedly is not brand-new, implies that becoming an orchestra musician is a desirable goal. Orchestra musicians in the United States, however, don't seem to agree these days. The famous San Francisco Symphony went on strike ten days ago (Dec. 5), just after returning from a tour that included Germany. It's already the fourth time this season that orchestra musicians are picketing outside their concert hall instead of sitting inside doing their jobs. At the beginning of the season, strikes were on in Portland, Atlanta, and Philadelphia. Orchestra strikes are nothing new in America, but it has been a long time since labor fights have been as intense as now. Georg Hirsch takes a look at the roots of the strike wave.

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