Chicago musicians strike after rejecting contract

Published: Monday, Sept. 24, 2012 5:30 a.m.CDT

CHICAGO – A contract dispute over higher health care costs and pay has left the start of the 2012-2013 season of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra up in the air.

Saturday's 8 p.m. concert with conductor Riccardo Muti was canceled less than two hours before it started because of a musicians' strike. It's the first CSO walkout since 1991.

The musicians' contract expired days ago, but they played the first concert Thursday and a free one Friday.

CSO association president Deborah Rutter said Muti is "very, very disappointed."

No contract talks have been scheduled.

CSO members committee chairman Steve Lester said the three-year contract included a jump in health care contributions to 12 percent from 5 percent.

The union rejected the proposed contract that would have also included some pay increases.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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