Earlier in the day, the National Labor Relations Board ruled the musicians were striking illegally. The musicians had argued that since January 3rd, they had been locked out, having refused to continue playing under an expired agreement. Rather than taking the case to federal courts, both sides attended negotiations aided on Thursday by St. Louis mayor Francis Slay and Bob Soutier, President of the Greater St. Louis Labor Council. Neither side would release details of the agreement.
Money was at the heart of the dispute; while musicians at many other top orchestras earn more than $100,000 in base salary, the St. Louis musicians had earned $73,180 in base pay prior to the new agreement. The orchestra's musicians will vote Saturday morning on final approval of the new contract, with official ratification expected March 1.