Former U.S. Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell is leading the attempt to begin mediation on the long-running lockout of the Minnesota Orchestra.
Neither side in the Orchestra dispute will confirm or deny that Mitchell, who brokered a deal between the warring sides in Northern Ireland and served as a special envoy to the Middle East, is leading attempts at mediation.
Musicians representative Blois Olson said, "We are respecting the process that Gov. Dayton proposed and continue to pursue a start to mediation to resolve this dispute." A representative of Orchestra management also had no comment on whether Mitchell is involved.
However, a source familiar with the situation did confirm Mitchell's participation.
Management locked out the musicians Oct. 1, 2012, and the sides are now deadlocked. They face an early September deadline set by conductor Osmo Vanska, who says he'll resign if there is no resolution by then.