Orquestra do Algarve - Portugal

We, the members of the Orquestra do Algarve, would like to inform you of the drastic events that have taken place and ask for your solidarity during these difficult times.

Last June, after all attempts at peaceful negotiations were exhausted, all the musicians in our orchestra, United, filed a lawsuit against the Associação Musical do Algarve to contest the legality of our working contracts and the conditions under which we work.

The goal of our lawsuit is to secure legal, "Efectivo" contracts for all musicians in the OA as well as to create a comprehensive set of by-laws or "Regulamentos" that will serve to protect us from the whims of unrestricted Capitalism. Any musician who has played with the OA knows first-hand how an orchestra run by a swimming pool salesmen is treated; unlike the weather here, it's not a paradise!

We hope that the fruits of this lawsuit will create a working environment that will elevate the name and reputation of this orchestra in the national and international community.

Since learning of the lawsuit in July, the administration has been working desperately to intimidate us. Last week, on July 31, they gave us an ultimatum: Either we drop the lawsuit or we will not have work in September. We will not drop it.

We will be at work on September 1. We will do all we can to protect our jobs. For this, we need your help!

If the administration of the OA calls you for extra work, or if you hear that a position has opened in the OA, please turn it down until these internal struggles have been settled.

Accepting any work with the OA will only serve to complicate our struggle. Help us improve the working conditions in our orchestra. Help us to make this an orchestra we can all be proud of!

Again, we ask for your solidarity during these difficult times. Please pass this on to all your friends and colleagues.

Thank you.

Committee of the Orquestra do Algarve