Chicago Symphony Orchestra, union accept Emanuel offer to help end strike

CHICAGO — Both striking musicians and management of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra have welcomed an offer by Mayor Rahm Emanuel to help end a nearly two-month work stoppage over pensions and wages.

Representatives for the two sides issued statements accepting Emanuel’s Wednesday evening proposal that his office play a role in crafting an agreement. The mayor called the CSO “the crown jewel” of Chicago’s cultural scene.

The union representing some 100 musicians says they’re at “a critical juncture.” The Chicago Federation of Musicians noted that CSO conductor Riccardo Muti is returning to Chicago soon and a summer concert schedule could be jeopardized if there’s no deal.

The CSO says it appreciates Emanuel’s offer and looks forward to working with the union in fashioning what it calls “a mutually acceptable contract.”

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