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Musicians Union Goes After Brooklyn Orchestra

MANHATTAN (CN) - A failure by the Brooklyn Philharmonic Orchestra to pay dues ended in an arbitration award of more than $88,000, a musician's union says in Federal Court.

The Associated Musicians of Greater New York, Local 802, AFM, filed the petition on April 2 to confirm the $88,849.45 judgment that arbitrator Earl Pfeffer awarded it on Aug. 26, 2014.

"To date, the decision and award remains totally unsatisfied," the petition states.

In addition to the amount of the judgment, the union notes that it also deserves attorneys' fees and interest.

The union says it went to the arbitrator based on a collective bargaining agreement that was in effect from Sept. 11, 2010, to Sept. 10, 2014.

That contract specified wage rates and employee-benefit contributions, and the Philharmonic "failed to pay work dues, pension and welfare contributions due pursuant to the terms of the agreement," according to the complaint.

Composer Nathan Currier has filed lawsuits over the years against both the philharmonic and the union.

After Currier sued the orchestra in 2009 for allegedly truncating his opus to avoid paying its musicians overtime, Kings County Supreme Court Judge David Schmidt advanced some claims in 2013.

Currier filed suit again on April 3, 2015, this time naming the union and the American Federation of Musicians as defendants to his federal complaint in Manhattan. This filing notes that the suit against the Philharmonic ended in a settlement.

The union is represented by Harvey S. Mars.

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