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Musicians in three symphony orchestras are not independent contractors, they are employees, the National Labor Relations Board noted last week. As a result, the musicians can vote on whether they want union representation.
The board looked at three separate cases involving the Lancaster Symphony Orchestra in Pennsylvania, the Cape Cod Symphony Orchestra in Massachusetts and the Plano Symphony Orchestra in Texas.
In the Lancaster case, the board found that musicians had some control over their work by choosing on whether to bid on programs. However, once they are selected, the control over the work time ends and orchestra management sets work hours, payment schedules, dress codes and standards for behavior.