Philly Pops musicians’ union AFM Local 77 vote to authorize strike; meeting set for Wednesday

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) — The Philly Pops musicians’ union is holding a virtual meeting with Pops leadership on Wednesday after voting overwhelmingly to authorize a strike, if necessary.

The Philly Pops announced last month that they would cease operations after the conclusion of the 2022-2023 season. The final show is scheduled for June.

ALSO SEE: The Philly Pops will cease operations at the end of the 2022-23 season

At the time of the announcement, Chief Operating Officer Karen Corbin said that without question, COVID-19 played a major role in the decision.

“We weathered the storm. We’ve been showing good performances the whole time. We played a full season last season. No one expected sales to be lower this season than last,” Corbin said.

However, contract negotiations between the musicians’ union, the American Federation of Musicians, Local 77 and the Pops management have reportedly been ongoing since August.

The union says 95% of Philly POPS musicians union members voted to authorize a strike if it is necessary to address what they described as a “lack of transparency” by management before the announcement last month designated.

“We’ve been trying to get Philly POPS management to negotiate contract commitments since August. It’s been more than 90 days since we gave them our last offer,” said Ellen Trainer, President of AFM Local 77. “After decades faithful service to the POPS, these musicians are the Philly POPS. They are one and the same. There was no need to illegally hide the truth from us while we were in active contract negotiations.”

The coach says union members have been waiting for answers to “dozens of key questions” about the Pops’ financial situation and future.

Corbin released this statement to Action News ahead of Wednesday’s meeting: “As our CBA negotiations progress, we are actively addressing the concerns expressed by local leadership amid the significant economic challenges facing POPS during the pandemic and her has experienced aftermath. Our seventh meeting is scheduled for tomorrow. We hope to reach a solution that is satisfactory for all parties.”

Copyright © 2022 WPVI-TV. All rights reserved. Philly Pops musicians’ union AFM Local 77 vote to authorize strike; meeting set for Wednesday

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