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Home » Orchestra News » Texas AFL-CIO PRO Act Rally Highlights San Antonio Musicians’ Struggles

Texas AFL-CIO PRO Act Rally Highlights San Antonio Musicians’ Struggles


Major Texas unions, labor, and progressive groups gathered in San Antonio on February 18 to make noise for the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act and to deride its number one opponent in the US House, Congressman Henry Cuellar (TX-D), who has come under fire for his record of voting against the interests of working people.

Richard Oppenheim, president of Local 23 (San Antonio, TX), and violinist Beth Johnson spoke out on behalf of members of the San Antonio Symphony, who have been on strike since last September. “We’re in a life and death struggle against not only the ruling classes in this town, but against their vassals and weasels, errand boys, and enablers in the halls of Congress,” Oppenheim says. “We’re in a fight against people like Texas Representative Cuellar.”

Cuellar, a conservative South Texas Democrat who has served since 2005, twice voted against the legislation. In 2021, he was the only House Democrat to vote against the PRO Act.

Musicians of the San Antonio Symphony are up against management that Oppenheim contends is doing the bidding of a “nakedly union-busting shadow elite intent on stripping these stalwart union members of the right they and their union have so carefully maintained for decades upon decades.” Negotiations had stalled until musicians and San Antonio Symphony management agreed to a negotiating session with a federal mediator, beginning February 14. The results are unknown at the time of press.

Local 23 (San Antonio, TX) President Richard Oppenheim addresses the rally, highlighting the plight of striking San Antonio Symphony musicians.

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