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June 12, 2009

Comments

Bloggers,

I stand corrected. 802fiddler- I didn't realize that it was you who mentioned Fernandez and you are non anonymous. Meanwhile, everything else I said is directed at Midtown Madness who still hides out.

David Finck

Dear Midtown Madness,

Thank you for identifying Chuck Fernandez as the 'Committee'. I have already expressed my sentiments about his anonymity on his blog. Now all you have to do is identify yourself and we can all talk like men.

Wondering why you are so afraid of Tino? Or what he could have possibly done to you? Does he know who you are? He must if you are ready to kick his ass. As far as me doing something constructive... I am. I am asking officers of our union, whose salaries we pay with our dues and work dues, to be accountable for what they say and do. Any objections to that?

David

From MidtownMadness:

Please, there is nothing for you to accomplish here. Try to spend your time more constructively if you really want to do something that benefits working musicians.

Why didn't he express those same sentiments when Chuck Fernandez, the alleged head of the COMMITTEE for a resp. 47, was published in 802's journal Allegro a while back.

Tino finds out who I am, He confronts me face to face, and Tino gets his ass kicked.

Now that's what I call real "concern" for his fellow musician.

Dear Midtown Madness,

It is hard to take seriously the words of someone who choses to hide by remaining anonymous. It really seems cowardly. Doesn't anyone want to be accountable for anything anymore? Unions are all about accountability, democracy, freedom of speech, argument, even yelling and screaming sometimes.

Regarding my charges, they are not baseless. In fact the membership of local 802 seems to be interested in finding out more about them. The musicians will vote on the issues as we are supposed to. And just so you know in case you haven't read; the violations are that the members of our Executive Board took it upon themselves to perform the procedural review of charges against officers ...... twice. That is a violation of our bylaws and has nothing to do with Legacy Studios.

However since you brought up the meeting at Legacy Studios last July, you are absolutely correct. I didn't get the answers I was looking for from the various officers with whom I met at local 802...Not regarding the meeting and not regarding the surveys;. In fact I didn't get any answers at all about anything. Why Not? I only had two or three simple questions. You say I am making so much out of nothing. So I ask you; why is it that 'nothing' is such a big secret? Regarding the surveys; No one believes that anyone filled out more than one. Not for a second. You would have to prove that. Oh yeah, you can't because the surveys were destroyed. (burned the evidence!) In any case, it is really nice of you to apologize to me even though you had nothing to do with the surveys. Why are you doing that?

Finally regarding Tino; I don't know how old you are but one would hope that you are adult enough to be able to have a discussion or even a healthy argument with anyone in our union. HG Wells said: 'The first man to raise his fist is the man who's run out of ideas'. Is that what happened to you?

David Finck

"As far as my anonymity goes, I do it out of concern for my fellow musician. It goes something like this. Tino finds out who I am, He confronts me face to face, and Tino gets his ass kicked. Tino goes to the hospital, and I go to jail. I don't want to go to jail, so I preserve my anonymity out of concern for my fellow musician. Yeah that's it, concern for my fellow musician..."

Wow, is this the newly emboldened Downbeat, or a more courageous Keys 88 or is it just another creation of the Karmen group.

"why don't you forget about New York, a city with a relatively high level of unionized musicians, and turn your attention to Branson. A city within the jurisdiction of the Nashville local operating almost totally non-union. Please, there is nothing for you to accomplish here. Try to spend your time more constructively if you really want to do something that benefits working musicians.

Is it not amazing that Mr Midtown knows so much about Branson. Hey Midtown , why don't you start organizing the hip hop and indy recording that exists on a major scale in NYC. Nah, nah , nah..
I think it's hard for Midtown 88, or whatever moniker he or she or it has chosen to accept the fact that working musicians are getting much more proactive. Hey, if you really cared about musicians you would understand that we are in this together.
Check it out.......Midtown speaks "
" I guess you didn't get the answers you were looking for in your meetings with the various officers of this union concerning the survey handed out at the Legacy meeting last July!"

What's that about Midtown ? Another "Talking Point" A sequacious ramble perhaps. No one was talking about Legacy studios.You fool no one.
People are talking about the music centers of the world ,finally coming together , and taking back their business. Professional musicians are tired of their destiny being controlled by Union leaders that only care about their political careers.
Sorry midbeat. i ain't buying you!

From "Midtown Madness"

"Tino finds out who I am, He confronts me face to face, and Tino gets his ass kicked."

WOW.

Please, you need not be so concerned with this musician's well-being.

I thought I had already survived grade school and the schoolyard bully. Apparently not. This is the level of discourse we can expect from the supporters of the Concerned Musicians and their anti-musician policies..

You're right about one thing. It is indeed about control. Control of the union by the musicians that make up its membership.

Well, Well, Well. I see it didn't take long for the prevaricators to speak up and defend their totally disingenuous behavior. I entreat you to press on gentle reader, as Midtown dispatches their misleading arguments with aplomb. First up would have to be Bruce from Nashville. To whom I would have to ask why? Why Bruce are you putting in your two cents concerning the affairs of another local. This makes about as much sense as me weighing in on the affairs of the Nashville local. Your arguments citing Harold and Billy and the federation, and contractors and composers, and LA recording musicians and CBA's, and pension multiples and conventions have absolutely nothing to do with what's happening here at 802. What's happening here at 802 is about one thing; control of this local. You know if you're looking for something to do in your spare time, why don't you forget about New York, a city with a relatively high level of unionized musicians, and turn your attention to Branson. A city within the jurisdiction of the Nashville local operating almost totally non-union. Please, there is nothing for you to accomplish here. Try to spend your time more constructively if you really want to do something that benefits working musicians.
Hello there David Finck. This is Midtown here, Midtown Madness. I am the 802 member who can't believe that you're making so much out of nothing. I guess you didn't get the answers you were looking for in your meetings with the various officers of this union concerning the survey handed out at the Legacy meeting last July. I for one would like to apologize to you for not getting those answers, even though I had nothing to do with it. But to bring up people on charges of " unfair dealings which had for their purpose the injuring of the locals and it's members" is totally beyond the pale. Local 802 couldn't change these national agreements if they wanted to. The charges are completely without merit, and in the end, I don't think your going to get your retribution. What can one do with a survey when one observes individuals filling out more than one?As far as my anonymity goes, I do it out of concern for my fellow musician. It goes something like this. Tino finds out who I am, He confronts me face to face, and Tino gets his ass kicked. Tino goes to the hospital, and I go to jail. I don't want to go to jail, so I preserve my anonymity out of concern for my fellow musician. Yeah that's it, concern for my fellow musician...

It sounds similar to what happened in Nashville. In our case the membership realized that Bradley and Linneman cared more about the Federation and their political standing, than they cared about their own members concerns.In fact, one time Linneman tried to abort a bylaw resolution submitted to the convention, by his own executive board ,only to be tripped up by his own carelessness.
I see what's happening in this perspective........
For years life was good . There's was lot's of work , everyone was getting paid. and the pension multiples were up. No one paid much attention to AFofM politics because it seemed like everyone was being taken care of.
Nowaday's the picture ain't so rosy. Musicians are getting concerned about what's happening. As they begin asking questions they realize that many of their leaders are not paying attention to the right things , at least as far as a working musician see's it.
In many cases they see their leadership making decisions, without input from musicians that do the work that's affected by the decision. Instead our union leaders are taking the advice of contracters (aka employers ) or composers (aka employers ) and then drawing up promulgated agreements , setting precedents that will impact future CBA's.
In addition the membership sees leadership trying to divide different locals by villianizing certain groups.A good example has been the subtle and not so subtle attacks on LA recording musicians. Having a national leader publicaly calling them "rich pricks' is just one example. The amount of energy this Federation has spent trying to divide La, NYC and Nashville is beyond belief. One could only imagine the braintrust that would be created if working musicians in these major music mecca's could come together and be involved in establishing inteligent Federation policy.
I would guess that this utopia wouldn't bode well for certain people

Midtown Madness- curious moniker

Your statement "The second resolution was to lower the quorum to 95. Don't be at all surprised if the very same people who supported this resolution are back in a year to raise it back up to 150." is equally curious.

Why? The author of the resolution made a cogent and researched reason for 802 benefiting from a quorum that would allow the membership to be able to participate in the governance of the local. When the quorum was lowered from 250 to 125, our membership had dropped to 12,500. We now are a membership of less than 9000. What exactly could be an argument against such a workable number as 95? Robert (as in Robert's rules) advises that a quorum should be a number that allows a body to do business, citing, if memory serves me correctly, close to 1% for large bodies. As an 802 member and former Executive Board member, I can say with a fair amount of authority that the intent of our bylaws is to protect and empower the members, so how is this a bad thing?

Why is "midtown madness" afraid of allowing the membership to exercise their authority per the bylaws?

"Describing the current administration as "plagued by scandal", or denounced as " guilty of malfeasance", when in fact the only thing they're guilty of is following the letter of the bylaws to a "T"."

Where is the administration described as "plagued by scandal"? - do tell. As far as "guilty of malfeasance" all you have to do is read our bylaws.

Midtown madness is unfortunately exposing an ignorance of these bylaws. Please read them, they are available to members at www.local802afm.org.

Article V, section 7, (d) allows only the membership to judge charges against officers. How does the Executive Board dismissing charges against themselves comport with this section, or common sense regarding due process for that matter?

Following the bylaws to a "T"? Hardly. Rather a blatant disregard for the rule of law.

"As one speaker implied, the affected union employee will simply put his belongings in a box and take a cab to his new office at 1501 Broadway."

To which several members asked when and one suggested Monday, totally missing the point. There is nothing in the resolution that stipulates that any affected staff member cannot continue as an employee of 802.

"trumped up charges"

I believe the musician who brought the charges would disagree. Given the time and effort that had to be sacrificed, this is not likely. As any busy working musician can attest, this could hardly be considered a worthwhile hobby.

As far as bettering the health plan, you are giving the wrong people the credit. Thank the musicians that agreed to forfeit cost of living increases to finance the plan regardless of whether they can participate or not. They are the ones responsible even if it fails! Or maybe you think we make too much money...

What will it take for the administration of our union, local or otherwise, to not automatically excuse disagreement or dissent as politically motivated - as opposed to experts (folks actually doing the work) trying to help their elected representatives do the right thing by helping them do their job and promote the collective best interest?

This is not about party politics, it's about we, as musicians, exercising our right to have a say in the direction the union goes in and not being ignored, or worse, disenfranchised. We can't afford it.

My Name is David Finck. I am the 802 member who filed the charges against the officers of our union. I would never expect everyone to be in agreement with me but it is important that we all remember that nearly 400 people came to a membership meeting with the courage to show their faces and names and address some important issues. This was a good thing and a big part of what unions are all about. I think we need more of that and less anonymous blogging. Anonymous blogging is another way in which people don't have to be accountable for what they say.

My charges involve bylaw violations on the part of officers of this local. Nothing more. And I am perfectly happy to explain how it all came about to anyone who wants to know. On June 10, 2009, the musicians of this local voted not to dismiss the charges and to get more information rather than accept the attempted dismissal by the charged parties and their lawyer.

It is my firm belief that all employees and officers of this union should be held accountable to the musicians of this local. After all, we pay them. It seems that on June 10th a majority of the attendees agreed with me. Is there really anyone out there who actually doesn't think they should have to answer to us?

David Finck

From midtown madness:

To hear middle aged divorcees with children get up and lambaste the current administration, knowing they are benefiting from better health coverage negotiated by that administration is mind boggling.

Both the NYC Ballet & Opera orchestras have negotiated their way out of 802's "better health coverage." B'way players are now taking off less often so that they can stay on the "better health coverage" plan, leading to less B'way sub work which causes the subs to fall off the "better health coverage" plan. NY Philharmonic subs no longer have wage parity (something they always had) because Landolfi negotiated part of their wages into paying more for this "better health coverage."

No matter what happens within the union, they will ultimately be dismissed in a court of law..

Don't bet on it.

Disrespectful hardly begins to describe them as they spoke out of turn, interrupted speakers who had the floor...

It's difficult to respect officers who don't follow Roberts Rules by allowing people to keep speaking after the question has been called, a Parliamentarian who inserts himself into the "facts" of an issue instead of just informing the chair of proper procedure and finally, an officer who refuses to step down from the podium and recuse himself when he is the subject of charges.

As one speaker implied, the affected union employee will simply put his belongings in a box and take a cab to his new office at 1501 Broadway.

This was not about one Executive Board/employee, but about curing an overall conflict of interest for the good of 802's future.

" Indeed it does mean something"

Yes, I agree, it does mean something. Unfortunately for local 802, it means the same sore losers from the last election will stop at nothing in their efforts to derail the current administration. Come fall, I can see the screaming headlines already. Describing the current administration as "plagued by scandal", or denounced as " guilty of malfeasance", when in fact the only thing they're guilty of is following the letter of the bylaws to a "T". The thing that was most striking about the meeting was the incredibly ugly tone set by the supporters of these measures. Disrespectful hardly begins to describe them as they spoke out of turn, interrupted speakers who had the floor, and generally gave the impression of a blood thirsty lynch mob all night long. Throw in some oil burning torches and a couple of pitchforks, and you could have filmed a Frankenstein Movie. However, what they accomplished was no laughing matter.
Resolution # 1, brought by a member who previously attempted to bring up the union personnel affected by this resolution on trumped up charges, only to fail, is nothing but a culmination of his personal vendetta against the current administration. The fact that he finally succeeded is merely proof that supporters have managed to tap into the fear and uncertainty all American workers are experiencing, and turn it against the Landolfi Administration. As one speaker implied, the affected union employee will simply put his belongings in a box and take a cab to his new office at 1501 Broadway. 802's loss will be the Internationals gain

The second resolution was to lower the quorum to 95. Don't be at all surprised if the very same people who supported this resolution are back in a year to raise it back up to 150. And finally the charges. This has got to be finest example of making a mountain out of a molehill in the history of western civilization. No matter what happens within the union, they will ultimately be dismissed in a court of law, if it goes that fall. I have to tell you what was really accomplished at this meeting..... nothing. Nobody will get a gig, nobody will see an increase in pension, or a betterment in working conditions. Nobody will get, dare I say it, an improvement in their health coverage. To hear middle aged divorcees with children get up and lambaste the current administration, knowing they are benefiting from better health coverage negotiated by that administration is mind boggling. Welcome to 802.

Nothing was accomplished that night...

Concerned as in interested. I believe that 802 members ultimately need to find a way to unify the party divisions.

From concerned member:

Must mean its time for another Local 802 election

Early December '09, actually. "Concerned" as in interested, or "concerned" as in political party?

Must mean its time for another Local 802 election

Robert,

Indeed it does mean something. I point the readers of this blog to the following website:

http://www.membersparty.com/MN1/v27n2.pdf

The two articles, "The Broadway Media Deal" and "A Better Way" are especially relevant there.

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