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January 31, 2009



Its a metaphor. A pitbull is a dog. Union workers saving lives is obviously not a thread about your issue. Pounce somewhere else fiddler!!

PitBull, a previous poster, has labelled recording musicians both as "trolls" - a description born of Norse mythology - and "dogs." He has also invoked the heroics of the USAir Captain who put his Airbus down on the Hudson River as being more important to this blog than discussions of AFM problems. Nowhere in my previous post did I denigrate the advantages of symphonic, opera and ballet orchestras from belonging to the AFM.

He needs to be reminded that the title of this blog is "The AFM Observer," not a blog of the Airline Pilots' Assn. Further, he needs some lessons in the ethics of reasonable discussion.

Sorry to have disrupted your Saturday. I have faith that my colleagues, if they bother to read the postings, will not misconstrue your words.

There's been a healthy debate over here, especially when the talk moves away from management and union organizing boilerplate. It will be good to lay this issue to rest and move on.

Tuesday morning, I might still be an outsider saying, "Don't go in!" Or I may be on the inside, doing what I can to make the AFM the best for our situation. My colleagues get to decide. (Oh, yes, I get a vote, too.)

Sadly, the film/TV producers, symphonic musicians, and others have watched as the recording musicians formed their own competing guild (the PMG) and took the AFM to court. We are now seeing only the first of the results of these actions - symphonic musicians concerned that if the elite recording musicians strap on their PMG golden parachutes and desert the AFM, the financial health of the AFM would be at issue. If the amount of money the recording musicians contribute to the AFM is anywhere close to the amount the recording musicians CLAIM they contribute to the AFM, the AFM and every member has very good reason to be concerned about the threat that the PMG poses by its very existence.

One thing we must never forget: the PMG is still there for a reason. It is a guild that was set up to directly compete with the AFM. That's a harsh reality that many here seem to want to ignore. And until the recording musicians see the light and disband the PMG, it will serve as a shining reminder to the rest of the community and our employers of how severely divided the AFM currently is.

This is not exclusively the AFM vs the RMA blog.
- A post about 155 lives saved by mostly union workers-the recording trolls pounce

-A post designed to repair damage done to the AFM's ability to organize symphonic musicians-the recording trolls pounce.

Show a little restraint dogs. Even the mutts in my kennel do not mark (piss) on EVERY corner.


Symphonic musicians indeed have much control over their destiny because they are the "product," their contracts are local, and they have a player conference - ICSOM (ROPA, also) - that provides a forum for trading information as well as contract bargaining training and support. The locals to which they belong mostly stay out of their way. Further, if they don't like their local administrations, they can ostensibly vote for change. For them, belonging to the AFM is a no-brainer, though some don't necessarily think so.

Would it were so for recording musicians where the AFM is their "local" and where they have no control over who gets elected to the AFM IEB. I would hope that symphonic musicians might see the advantage of joining with recording and other full-time musicians in the common fight for a better and more responsive AFM.

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