The deadline for a decision on whether the currently striking members of the National Symphony Orchestra will play scheduled concerts in Mexico City next week has been extended until 6 p.m. today, according to the National Symphony Association.
The 24-hour extension came after the U.S. ambassador to Mexico made an inquiry to federal negotiator Harold Mills "about whether or not anything could be done," according to Joyce idema, spokesperson for the orchestra management.
The strike, in its sixth day today, forced cancellation of the opening season concert Tuesday and threatens to cause the cancellation of six concerts in Mexico City planned for Oct. 3 through 8.
"We're still going and we're still not going," said Idema. "We don't have plane reservations and we're not all packed up. But the Mexican government has indicated they could give us another day to decide."
However, Idema added, "We cannot go if we have a strike. We have to make an agreement for a week." She suggested that it is possible that a temporary arrangement might be worked out allowing the orchestra members to travel to Mexico for a week, setting faside larger issues of the dispute between management and the orchestra.
The players struck after rejecting management's offer of a $40-a-week raise with a one-yeasr contract. The orchestra members want a $60 raise and a three-year contract.
As for a temporary agreement, orchestra committee member Tony Ames said last night that, "Lots of things could happen. There's a lot of rhetoric going on in this. But if the facts and figures work out, something could be agreed upon."