- Associated Press - Monday, May 12, 2014

NEW YORK (AP) - Members of the Metropolitan Opera’s orchestra have voted to authorize a strike if contacts with the Met break down.

The musicians in Local 802 of the American Federation of Musicians took the vote on Monday. Negotiations with the Met have recently started, and the contract expires at the end of July.

The head of the local said the union would continue to negotiate in good faith. The vote legally formalizes the strike option.

The Met said negotiations with the musicians and 15 other unions have “only just begun” and it hopes an agreement is reached before the contracts expire.

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