Striking Chicago musicians approve 5-year contract

MarketsAssociated Press

Musicians at the Chicago Symphony Orchestra have approved a new contract, a key step to ending a nearly seven-week strike.

The Chicago Federation of Musicians says the five-year deal includes a 13.2% increase in salary and protects retirement benefits. The union says musicians unanimously supported it Saturday.

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The board of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Association also must vote on the contract. A tentative deal was reached after both sides agreed to have Mayor Rahm Emanuel participate in the talks.

About 100 musicians have been on strike since March 11 . The main issues were pensions and wages.

The striking musicians received support from congressmen, musical theater performers and their own maestro, renowned Italian conductor Riccardo Muti.