Striking Chicago musicians approve 5-year contract


Jose M. Osorio/Chicago Tribune via AP

In this Monday, March 11, 2019 file photo, striking Chicago Symphony Orchestra musicians walk the picket line outside of Symphony Center in Chicago. On Saturday, April 27, 2019, negotiators for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and musicians said they have reached an agreement to end the seven-week strike.

Musicians at the Chicago Symphony Orchestra have approved a new contract, a key step to ending a nearly seven-week strike.

The Chicago Federation of Musicians says the five-year deal includes a 13.2% increase in salary and protects retirement benefits. The union says musicians unanimously supported it Saturday.

The board of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Association also must vote on the contract. A tentative deal was reached after both sides agreed to have Mayor Rahm Emanuel participate in the talks.

About 100 musicians have been on strike since March 11 . The main issues were pensions and wages.

The striking musicians received support from congressmen, musical theater performers and their own maestro, renowned Italian conductor Riccardo Muti.