By Steve Tawa

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Musicians in the Philadelphia Orchestra have rejected a strategic plan for the future, put out by management, saying that it would destroy the reputation of one of the world’s great orchestras. Management says changes could be made, and they welcome more input.

Players committee chairman John Koen, a cellist with the orchestra, says the musicians believe the rejection of the plan could have been avoided, if they were “partners in its development.”

“There were misstatements by management that musicians had been included in the process.”

They were, at first, according to Koen. But he says that was last October. By November, he says the musicians were kept out of the loop. The strategic plan came out at the end of May, followed by the bankruptcy filing in April.

“They tried to do three things at once and they couldn’t do any of them right.”

He lists the bankruptcy filing, negotiations on a labor contract with musicians, as well as the strategic plan. The musicians opposed management’s decision to declare bankruptcy.

Meantime, a three-day mediation has been set up for mid-September, as management and musicians try to reach middle ground on a labor contract.

Reported by Steve Tawa, KYW Newsradio 1060

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