Panel Rejects Charge Filed by Striking City Musicians

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An unfair labor practice charge filed against management of the Oklahoma Symphony Orchestra by striking musicians has been dismissed by the National Labor Relations Board, the symphony reported Thursday.

In addition, an appeal of an earlier decision to dismiss three separate charges by the musicians has been rejected by the federal board.

The musicians had charged the committee representing the symphony board and management with refusing to discuss proposals regarding 32 part-time musicians, according to Zach Smith, musicians' spokesperson.

A copy of a letter from Michael Dunn, regional director of the National Labor Relations Board, to John Schulman, an attorney for the musicians, said an investigation of the charge revealed no fault in the board committee considering the proposals and rejecting them.

Smith, contending the board's negotiating committee refused to discuss the proposals, said the labor relations board may have misunderstood the charge.

The letter to the attorney for the musicians said the musicians had until the close of the business day Thursday to file an appeal on the ruling.

Smith said mid-afternoon Thursday that he could not be sure whether an appeal has been filed, but that the musicians definitely would be considering it.

"Obviously that (the ruling) was not the interpretation we had hoped for," Smith said. "Our contention was not that they refused to accept our point, but that they just flat out refused to discuss it.

"I wonder if there was something that was not made clear."

"The NLRB regional director investigated the charge and ruled that the symphony board's refusal to agree with the musicians on one issue did not constitute an unfair labor practice," symphony President Theodore J. d'Andriole said in a prepared statement. "The musicians submitted their proposal, we considered it, and we rejected it. It's that simple."

He called the previous charges and the recent charges "groundless" and "petty harassment. …