The orchestra of the Uruguayan public broadcaster SODRE, the oldest and most emblematic of Uruguayan orchestras and a state institution, is paying most of its 98 musicians on a per-day basis, on the black market.
Musicians that have been recruited on a 1-year contract with the promise of a renewal now find themselves without any contract and forced to work under illegal terms for an institution placed under the responsibility of the Ministry of Education and Culture.
By behaving so, SODRE infringes not only the Uruguayan legislation but also core ILO conventions to which Uruguay has been a party for decades.
The FIM International Orchestra Conference, meeting in Oslo on February 24-26, 2014 firmly condemns the behaviour of the SODRE administration. The disrespect it shows towards its musicians must stop.
One of SODRE’s key missions as a public institution is to provide Uruguayan citizens with cultural services of the highest possible quality, as well as to protect and promote its orchestra, which forms part the national musical heritage and constitutes a common asset of the Uruguayan people.
The FIM International Orchestra Conference calls on the Uruguayan government as well as the City of Montevideo to
• Comply with their legal obligations and immediately restore the rights of all musicians working for the SODRE orchestra
• Fill-in all the positions that are left vacant in this orchestra
• Increase salaries of SODRE musicians to a level that properly reflects the value of the highly specialized skills of musicians
• Provide the Montevideo Philharmonic and the Symphonic Band with working places that adequately meet the minimum standards required in terms of acoustics, health and safety and comfort.