Tokyo Symphony Orchestra is to restructure musicians

The Tokyo Metropolitan Government has announced a retstructuring plan of the Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra that includes reducing the number of its musicians and slashing their salaries in the name of administrative reform and fiscal reconstruction.

Akahata of December 16 reported that the plan includes abolition of the lifetime employment system, dismissal of all its members in order to rehire them on fixed-term contracts, salaries based on ability and work performance, and doing away with the retirement allowance.

The orchestra in its first downsizing during 2000-2003 cut down the fixed number from 105 to the present 92. The new plan will bring the number down to 90.

Those involved with the orchestra criticize the plan, saying, "To increase insecure employment will only lead to depriving the members of a wholesome environment for their performance activities and giving up on a responsibility for protecting local culture." (end)

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