Musicians withdraw unfair labor charge so Honolulu Symphony can meet bankruptcy filing deadline

HONOLULU—The musicians of the Honolulu Symphony have withdrawn an unfair labor charge that was filed with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) in July, so that the Honolulu Symphony’s board and management can submit their reorganization plan with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court and meet today’s filing deadline.

“Although the unfair labor charge did not impact the Honolulu Symphony’s ability to file the reorganization plan, the musicians wanted to withdraw the charge to remove their stated reason for not filing,” said Jonathan Parrish, spokesperson for the musicians.

In a letter to the Honolulu Symphony sent Tuesday, October 12, board chair Kimberly Miyazawa Frank attributed the filing delay to the unfair labor charge by the musicians with the NLRB.

“Our labor attorneys are working with the NLRB toward a resolution, as it will impact our ability to move forward with our Way Forward Plan,” Frank wrote in the letter. On Wednesday, the Honolulu Symphony filed a motion to push back the filing deadline two months to December 13.

“It has been almost a year since the Symphony’s bankruptcy filing and they have spent nearly a half a million dollars,” Parrish said. “It’s unfortunate that concerts by a resident professional symphony have not yet been resumed. The musicians are doing their part to restore what has been lost for the community.”

In July 2010, Frank issued a letter to the musicians’ union accepting the resignations of the musicians; however, the musicians had not tendered their resignations and, subsequently, filed the unfair labor charge.

“In the NLRB charge, we simply asked for the Honolulu Symphony Society to admit in writing that their action of ‘accepting our resignations’ was inappropriate and to agree to foster a more amicable, effective working relationship with the musicians,” Parrish said.

It is the aim of the musicians of the Honolulu Symphony to contribute to the artistic, educational, and economic health of Hawaii. In addition to performances, the musicians teach music to Hawaii’s youth and are actively involved in education outreach efforts to local schools. The Musicians’ Association of Hawaii, chartered in 1923, is the union that represents the musicians and is affiliated with the Hawaii State AFL-CIO.

For more information, visit the musicians’ website at www.honolulusymphonymusicians.org.