Due to the continuation of the work stoppage by the musicians of the San Francisco Symphony (SFS), tonight’s 8 p.m. performance of Gustav Mahler’s ninth symphony has been cancelled and will not be rescheduled; an announcement about tomorrow afternoon’s 2 p.m. performance is expected to be released by tonight.
Patrons with tickets for tonight’s concert may exchange them for an upcoming concert, donate their tickets, or receive a refund. The Box Office may be reached by phone at 415-864-6000. The Box Office is open until 8:30 p.m. tonight. Sunday hours are from noon to 2 p.m., and hours on Mondays through Fridays are from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The Press Room page of the SFS Web site will be maintained with information about further cancellations and when performances will resume. Further details on the negotiations may be obtained either through the Press Room page.
Yesterday I felt it valuable to refer readers to the San Francisco Chronicle article by Joshua Kosman, which provided a balanced treatment of the positions of both the musicians and the Administration. As a result of continuing to track extended discussions on the current “state of play,” today I would like to offer a similar pointer to yesterday’s analysis by Janos Gereben for San Francisco Classical Voice. Gereben has done a laudable job of approaching this as a story about labor relations, drawing upon sources such as Robert Mnookin, Chairman of the Harvard Negotiation Research Project. (Mnookin was involved in the settlement of the last strike, which ran from late 1996 into early 1997.) Due to his decision to approach the dispute on an issue-by-issue basis, Gereben’s article takes more time to read than your usual newspaper article.
However, it deserves to be read to its conclusion, since the final section addresses those intangible issues of both the subjective and social worlds that extend beyond the objective world of specific contract terms. Gereben has made the bold move of trying to introduce job satisfaction and stress arising from lack of such satisfaction into the equation. These are issues that often elude discussion, because neither side knows how to reduce them to quantitative terms (because such reduction is, for all intents and purposes, impossible). Nevertheless, these intangible factors are important, because accepting the terms of a contract does not always imply the establishment of agreement over a “worldview” of the organization shared to the satisfaction of both labor and management.
(Orthogonal afterthought: In the context of the major technology story of the week, I feel some obligation to observe that I arrived at most of my sources through the judicious use of Google Reader. There seems to be a prevailing opinion that RSS feeds have lost their significance due to the use of Twitter as a news-tracking technology. I cannot imagine any tweet that would have captured enough of my attention to induce my commitment to reading Gereben’s article. Dealing with an issue as complicated as a labor stoppage requires the sort of attention span that Twitter was never designed to accommodate.)