American Federation Of Musicians Local 802 Orders Members Not To Work For Distinguished Concerts International New York

Local 802 of the American Federation of Musicians has issued a “Do Not Work” order against Distinguished Concerts International New York, labeling it an “unfair employer.” The move comes more than two years after DCINY’s orchestra formed a union with Local 802, though the parties have yet to reach an agreement on a first-time contract.

Under the local’s bylaws, members who violate the do-not-work order by performing for DCINY can be reprimanded, fined or expelled. DCINY has operated as a producer and presenter of music at Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center for more than a decade. For many of its choral concerts, it assembles choirs of amateur singers from around the world who pay a fee to perform there. DCINY then hires a professional orchestra, soloists and conductors.

According to the local, DCINY “has essentially locked them out and refuses to offer industry standards like union wages, proper rest breaks, health insurance, retirement payments, recording or streaming payments, job security, a primary hiring list and more.”

Shut down during the pandemic, DCINY resumed live performances earlier this year and, according to the union, “immediately replaced the full professional orchestra with just a handful of musicians. The company also attempted to replace professional musicians with an amateur high school ensemble. At a recent negotiation session, management introduced a new proposal that would force musicians to audition for positions they’ve already been awarded, which could allow musicians to be replaced permanently.”

The local will hold a rally on Monday outside Carnegie Hall in support of its demands for a fair contract.

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