FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE)- Fort Wayne Philharmonic negotiations for a new contract with musicians went south Thursday as the Fort Wayne Philharmonic Players’ Association announced the musicians would go on strike.

Early Friday afternoon, The Fort Wayne Philharmonic announced that Friday and Saturday’s Holiday Pops concerts have been canceled. An announcement on whether future holiday concerts will have the same fate will be announced next Friday, December 16.

Those with tickets for this weekend’s shows have the following options:

  • Exchange your tickets to another performance this season
  • Credit to on-account to a future performance this season
  • Donate the value of your tickets 
  • For other options please email tickets@fwphil.org

All ticket holders should exchange, credit, donate, or refund their purchases by January 15, 2023. All on-account funds need to be used by the end of the 2022-2023 season. Subscribers may still exchange or credit their tickets after this date in accordance with their subscriber benefits.

On Friday, the musicians’ union issued the following statements:

It is the Fort Wayne Philharmonic’s decision to cancel upcoming concerts. We have told Philharmonic management what it will take to bring Musicians back to work. They have refused to offer a fair contract proposal, and we will be on strike until an agreement is reached. We Musicians do not cancel concerts. It will be Philharmonic management’s decision to cancel any upcoming concerts. We have told Philharmonic management what it will take to bring Musicians back to work. They have refused to offer a fair contract proposal, and we will be on strike until an agreement is reached.

Campbell MacDonald, Chair, FW Philharmonic Players’ Association.

Despite the Holiday Pops concerts being canceled, the Players’ Association announced Friday afternoon the musicians will perform a free holiday concert Saturday, Dec. 10.

The concert will be at 7:30 p.m. at Plymouth Congregational Church, located at 501 W. Berry St.

Both sides have negotiated multiple issues regarding pay, scheduling flexibility, changes to work rules and conditions related to routine operations in the orchestra.

A post on the Musicians of the Fort Wayne Philharmonic Facebook page indicated they would put on a free concert Saturday evening at the Plymouth Congregational Church located on West Berry in downtown Fort Wayne.

MacDonald said they have met with the board 9 times over the recent months.

After announcing the strike on Thursday, MacDonald said Philharmonic management “has yet to propose pay that allows us to afford basic needs and is married to the elimination of full-time positions.”

Philharmonic President and CEO Brittany Hall responded to the strike Thursday saying the organization is “deeply disappointed” to learn about the strike.

According to the Philharmonic, musicians are asking for a 46 percent wage increase, while it has offered an 11.5 pay hike.

“We have negotiated in good faith since August, and our hope is to collaborate with the musicians and reach a new agreement that will be a foundation for the long-term future of the Philharmonic and its important role in the community,” Hall said.

Philharmonic management said the musicians have agreed to bring in a mediator to aid in negotiations.

The next meeting between the musicians and Philharmonic management is scheduled for Dec. 12.

It is not known if the strike will impact upcoming shows.