Hal and the gang are at it again, another live service employee fired while on vacation!

Dear LOCAL 47 colleagues,

This administration is hell bent on destroying services for the live players and we’ve seen more proof of that tonight.

Errol Henry, who has worked for the Local for the last 9 years and ran the referral service, was fired while home sick, recuperating from the flu.

At least this time Doug Caine wasn’t used as the front man. President Hal Espinosa himself told Errol Henry he was being fired because he felt Errol “Couldn’t follow a Mandate”. This according to Errol himself.

Sometime ago Errol and Doug Caine had a run-in about the way to handle something concerning the referral service. Since Errol Henry has worked in this area for sometime, and had real experience, certainly more than the employee Doug Caine. logic would dictate Errol knew his job and how best to do it. While the board DID call Caine in to talk about it, they did NOT call Errol in to tell his side or defend himself or give the board the benefit of his real life experience. Surprising? Hardly…

As we’ve all heard the tact with which Doug Caine handles contact with fellow employees, we have a suspicion, though only that, that this “RUN-IN” was used as a pretense to get rid of yet another service for freelance members, and might as well have been manufactured to do just that.

Let’s recap, shall we? Who’s left or been fired from the Local in the recent past?

•Vince Tividad – engineer for Studio 47 – service to rank and file. Helped countless members record music for their own promotion.
•Barbara Markay – 15 year employee and Business Rep – Helped create Studio 47, CD/Radio promotion and guide for freelance and live musicians. An invaluable resource.
•Errol Henry – 9 year employee – Ran referral service for our local and invaluable to the freelancers and other live musicians.
•Al Rubicava – live business rep who’s has hours cut.

Do any of these relate to our recording musicians, other than those recording for their own promotion? NO.

The all relate to the services for our live members, services that are being gutted.

•••What justifications do we hear from the LOCAL for their actions?
The answers thus far seem to be two-fold.•••

•They will say that the services are not being cut, but being revamped. The problem? In most cases, the services formerly done by the above people are being piled onto other employees (Who receive no raise in their salary for the privilege).

Extra work is being piled onto employees with less or a fraction of the experience of those who’ve been “downsized”. How can this translate into improvement? More likely it will result in the slow death of those areas, which will work just fine for those who have no interest in serving the segment of the membership that benefited from Barbara’s, Vince’s or Errol’s work.

•The other excuse? Those areas are losing money hand over fist.

You cannot put a simple price tag on the benefit to the membership of Barbara’s expertise. The benefits (Assistance with a better Contract, Assistance with getting airplay, advice on the best way to get something done) don’t go easily onto a balance sheet. What DOES go on a balance sheet is the money this local will lose when members leave because of the loss of the only services that helped them on a daily basis.

Often work gotten through Errol at the referral service serves as a jumping off point in new relationships for our live members, new clients, new collaborators. All these things enhance the use of the Local for our membership.

We can’t help but wonder how the federation will feel about the administration of Local 47 gutting services to members for dubious and/or questionable reasons.

Most businesses have areas that are not technically profitable, but are such a service to the membership as to become a great enhancement to being a member. Those on the Executive Board initiating these firings and the gutting of services for the live membership either don’t realize this or don’t care.

THE LOCAL CANNOT CRY POVERTY! Last year we had over 2 million cash in the bank, and those rehearsal rooms (most of which aren’t even soundproofed) certainly couldn’t have cost 2 million to build, unless the contract went to Haliburton.

The union is not hurting for the cash unless there has been some gross negligence which we should know about and investigate, either that, or money is not the reason for these firings.

We need to find out the truth here, the REAL truth, not some excuses from the very administration inflicting this damage on our local. Truth backed up with records, hearings, panels, evidence.

What can we do? CALL the PRESIDENT, CALL the VP, CALL and e-mail each and every board member and express your outrage and what the Executive Board is doing and what the BOARD is allowing them to do. Show up at board meetings demanding answers, answers with back-up documentation.
The time for sitting back is over, if we do not act now to preserve our Local, it will be picked to death by this administration.


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