There have been so many impressive and excellent comments lately that we will give the disclaimer here. The comments are marked clearly. Bravo to those members who take the time to write!

The comments below and elsewhere in our offerings represent
the uncensored views of the readers and not necessarily those
of the COMMITTEE. In the faith that freedom of expression
allows for the birth and ascendancy of the most beneficial ideas,
all sentiments expressed are welcome, subject to the bounds of
good taste and decorum. If you disagree with an opinion expressed
by any contributor, we encourage you to rebut it here.




It seems President Espinosa was not happy with the COMMITTEE response to his demand for an apology.

To re-iterate:
IF the information from our multiple sources about Mr. Espinosa’s depositions was in error, we gladly give and you may accept the appropriate apology.

If we are wrong, we apologize. If Mr. Espinosa wants ring kissing, he will get none of that from us.

The COMMITTEE also pointed out that while the HENRY/MARKAY lawsuit settlements were confidential, the fact that they ARE confidential is NOT confidential, it is public knowledge. Why should the COMMITTEE apologize for something that’s true? We shouldn’t, and won’t. We also find it far beyond tacky to try to scare Errol and Barbara when they have done nothing wrong. (Qoute from Mr. Espinosa’s letter: So, all the Committee has accomplished is getting Markay and Henry into hot water with our insurance carrier.) Classy, Hal.

As far as the amounts of the settlement, we find it impossible to believe that Errol Henry and Barbara Markay, both people of integrity, and having served a cumulative 24 years for our Local, would accept less than $2000 each for their firing. Anyone here believe that? Of course, there is an eminently simple way to prove the COMMITTEE is wrong by opening the settlement agreement and showing the members what the insurance paid out. It’s an amazingly simple way to settle the matter. And if we were wrong, we will be more than happy to apologize.

Since the Local member dues paid for the insurance, we in effect pay for any settlement thereof and are entitled to know the results of any litigation.


We suggest if anyone wants to see just how vindictive and personal attacks can REALLY get, they should visit the AFM Posting Blog at – .

There you will find astounding attacks on AFM President Lee, Secretary Folio, President Espinosa, Marc Sazar, Phil Ayling, the RMA, the RMALA, Charles Fernandez, the Committee and any one of a number of other AFM figures.


As president of a Local, Mr. Espinosa is as close to a public figure as you’re going to get at the local level. The committee, if we were to choose to, could get far uglier than we do, judging from the level of vitriol on the AFM Posting Blog. The fact that we do not speaks volumes (though we do get overly sarcastic from time to time), not to mention our record of accuracy over the years. We at times make mistakes, and will correct and/or apologize when we do.

The Board of Local 47 no doubt is desperate to hurt the COMMITTEE, a group of members determined to make sure the members know the “rest of the story” concerning the board’s actions, in preparation for the upcoming December Elections.

If these officers would spend half the energy they have spent attacking the COMMITTEE in emails and in the Overture on making sure that the favoritism to any special interest group stops and that the whittling away and half measures towards the freelance musicians would cease, they would realize that most of the complaints will disappear. In fact, the complaints would never have had to be expressed to begin with.

Let’s hear what members had to say.


How very interesting.

Public figures like presidents of Unions cannot sue anyone for such
statements as “he’s been called into a lawyer’s office.”
If you had called Hal a child molester, that would be defamation of
character. But claiming he went to depositions doesn’t defame his character.

Especially since he’s admitting the lawsuits, and that he’s had some legal proceeding, but only denies the word “deposition.”

If Hal is indeed going to step down in Dec, he may feel he has nothing to lose – it can’t hurt his political career to file personal lawsuits against members. – it WILL hurt the person he endorses to replace him, and the resulting stink will change the hearts of Members who are tired of the corruption and cronyism and just needed one more scandal to abate their fear of change.


Hello ________,
There is nothing in the executive board meetings or any other meeting that union officials have that should not be disclosed to any union member. Local 47 President Hal Espinosa is at the helm. He is ultimately responsible for how our union is run. His demand for an apology is a smoke screen. I think he is a ••••[term removed]. Prove it to us. Tell all. The only time Mr. Espinosa responds to Resp Comm is when someone gets close to the truth and he has to defend himself. But then again, he’s got our union funds to do that with (is that legal?) He is spending legal fees to defend his position as president and RMALA. Both those parties are knowingly misspending union funds on legal fees that reek of politics. The fact that the executive board was mute when asked by Mark Sazer and Phil Ayling for money to mount a legal battle against our AF of M is proof of that. The RMALA’s “olive branch” is only being extended because they know they are in trouble with their own membership. They are not interested in changes that would include others outside their little clique. And they need to keep their membership in line because we have a union meeting coming up soon. It’s not because they are being nice.
So do you mean to tell me that after all our union president and RMALA (controlled mainly by the one contractor) has done to try to take over the AF of M, chase recording out of town, fine San Diego dark date people $1,500.00 apiece, try to trash the referral service, or suggest that if you don’t work full time as a player on film scores you’re a hobbyist, etc. etc., they are now turning over a new leaf? Give me a break. They are AFRAID. Fear is what drives the RMALA leadership now. They don’t understand anything else. It is what they use to control it’s own membership.

[EDITOR’S NOTE: As we have said before, “If the Board is doing something they don’t want the members to know about, chances are they shouldn’t be doing it.”]


Dear Committee,

It would seem that Mr. Espinosa is threatening legal action. Before he does that, he should make note of this AFM Bylaw:

I will recreate it in its entirety, though I am referring only to the bold section.

Article 5 – Section 71

Whenever the IEB has substantial reason to believe that a Local, or the Local’s Officers or members, are (1) acting in violation of the AFM Bylaws, (2) disobeying a lawful order of the Convention, the IEB, or the International President, (3) mismanaging the Local’s financial affairs or otherwise conducting the affairs in a fiscally unsound manner, or (4) ENGAGING IN ANY ACTIVITY OR COURSE OF CONDUCT DETRIMENTAL TO THE WELFARE OR INTERESTS OF THE AFM OR LOCAL, the IEB may place the Local in trusteeship.

Food for thought.

Charles Fernandez




I completely agree with getting the other unions on board and making the runaway produced films ineligible for American Awards Ceremonies!

Jennifer Walton


About your solutions to runaway scoring. You can’t force production
companies to work with us. Threatening to make them in-eligible for
awards will never work. Getting other unions to side with us
obviously isn’t going to happen. If we want to bring back work we
have to compete for it. We have to give the best product for the best
price, end of story. That is how the work was taken from us & that is
the only way we will get it back.


getting the no awards for any non-union work can work but it will have to be with the RMALA and the AFM spearheading it to the other unions so we “come with the lunch”

we would actually have to all work together –



Here are some facts regarding some music done under AFM contracts:

Videogames: no residuals based on sales. ever.

Direct to dvd: no residuals based on dvd sales. ever. This includes
ALL the Disney movies that go straight to dvd.

Soundtracks made up to 15,000 copies: NO NEW USE PAYMENT. These days,
virtually no soundtrack sells that many. They are lucky to sell 1000

HBO or Showtime telefilms, or mini-series. When they go to dvd, no
re-use, and no residuals. Not many people know that.

Music recorded for movies, re-used in trailers and advertising (even
for different movies): NO NEW-USE. ever. Forever. The composer gets
paid again, but not the musicians.

Music licensed out to ringtones: no payment. Again, the writers get residuals.

Music recorded for a rock band or singer: if re-used in a non-signatory
tv show or movie: No payment guaranteed, as they are not obliged to
pay if they are not a signatory.

Note that the top selling cd of 2007 was Josh Groban, recorded with
the London Symphony Orchestra.

here is a link, many Local 47 people involved.

****So what is the big deal if there is a buyout. It just doesn’t
matter. Work is work and unless LA gets its act together, Seattle and
Eastern Europe, not to mention London, will be flush with work even
more than they are now.

Grow up people. If anyone from the AFM wants to contradict or correct
anything above, feel free.


To begin with I think it would clarify things to stop using the phrase “runaway production.” No one is running away. What’s happening is a function of marketplace mobility, period, and should be understood that way.
Some claim that the DeCrescent/Rodder team is the world’s best. Does it matter?
I am going to say something now that is important to understand: Markets don’t work on the basis of merit, they work on the basis of productivity.
Markets are competitive by nature. To be a contender one must compete. Why would the marketplace make an exception for musicians and recording?
No amount of collectivist or idealist thinking, e.g. unionism or “let’s all get together for a common purpose,” will change the fundamental reality: the mobility of the marketplace, which inures to the benefit of the consumer, is the sovereign principle of capitalism. Some musicians may believe that capitalism is flawed or problematic — and maybe they’re right — but it is nevertheless the economic system running the engines of global markets today. And make no mistake: we live in a global marketplace.
Entrepreneurial captalism functions through the mechanism of individuals making market decisions, not collectives making collective decisions. This creates problems for collectivist institutions like unions. Restricting an individual’s discretion to make a market decision requires restricting his liberty to make that decision, and individuals will rarely give up that liberty completely. The question is how much liberty will they give up to the collective? The answer may vary depending on many variables including, obviously, one’s economic viability and one’s commitment to the institution.
It follows that market activity can and will produce tension between the interests of the collective and those of the individual. Individual interests may be divergent from institutional interests. This divergence sometimes leads to hypocrisy if individual action in the marketplace is in conflict with a collectivist policy one purportedly supports, or when an institution pursues institutional interests which do not serve the interests of individual members. This dynamic is so common in a union context it is often overlooked and is basically considered irreconcilable.
To bring this home: individuals understand that flexibility is a necessity. Flexibility is a larger problem at an institutional level. The global marketplace of today requires that our institutions change — if they are to survive. Either we help shape the future or we will be shaped by it.
In my opinion the union must allow more buyout options. There has to be a productivity incentive to record in LA. LA must compete. And we should forgo penalizing people for trying to work — that is a lose/lose policy.
Rick Blanc (please attach name)



that link isn’t good anymore (at least at this moment)

I did a search on that website and this was what I got..


I would like to bring attention to the fact that RMALA has not one link on their site connecting them with Local 47. There is no mention of Local 47 anywhere on their web site. It’s as if the other 6,000 union members don’t exist. Yet, Local 47’s web master found the time to put a ‘link’ in with the Referal Service but did not reciprocate by putting a link for the Referral Service on the RMALA web site. This is the work of the RMALA top leadership, not the rank & file member who is scared of losing their work as a result of political activism aka freedom of speech without fear of retaliation. It is a perfect example of RMALA aka PMG leadership demonstrating what a “kinder, gentler” RMALA will be like in the future. RMALA wants to distance itself from Local 47. They don’t even have meetings at Local 47 anymore. It is an organization that should be UNDER the jurisdiction of 47. [Humorous though personal attacks on the RMA Webmaster removed]
I noticed that Local 47’s attorney Lou Levy is on the Advisory Board for RMALA. Given the state of politics at the union, that might be a slight conflict of interest.

[Editor’s Note: We’ve gone to the RMA website and indeed we could find no link to Local 47 there. We did not go through every single page but we dug deep enough to note that it was not easily found. While they do not have to mention anything having to do with non-rma members, we also think it untoward that there is no mention or link anywhere on their site that we could find linking to Local 47. After all, the RMA would not exist if not for the Local.

Concerning Mr. Levy: We too find it a conflict of interest for him to serve on the advisory board of the RMA. Should there be a conflict between these two organizations, where would his loyalties lay. (Not a charge, just a question)]


“Dear Committee,

For those who think that all of these letters are written by the
‘Committee’, I would first like to state that I am NOT a member
of the ‘Committee’. I am one of the thousands of readers that is
tired of the slander and accusations coming from our Local 47
board and those sympathetic with their past and present behavior.
I am also stating that I am a Local 47 full-member in good
standing and that I will NOT be providing my name – which again,
does not automatically make me a member of the ‘Committee’!
For the benefit of those who selectively read these e-mails and
only remember those comments that are offensive to them and
not the rest; and for the benefit of Paul Castillo and those who
read his letter in the February 2008 issue of ‘Overture’, I am going
to explain why I and those who are members of the Committee
choose to remain anonymous. By the way, the Committee on
more than one occasion has published its reasons for remaining

The first place to start is to ask why the Committee exists. My
understanding is that they exist as a response to what they and
thousands of Local 47 members feel are unfair policies, wasted
dues money, reduced services, and poor administration of union
business by our board; and those who are operating unfair or
potentially illegal sub-organizations within our union. Many
union policies favor those who do well in this business and have
political influence in the union, while simultaneously disadvantaging
the rank and file – I know – I’ve been to the meetings! Second,
one only needs to remember the nasty e-mails that have been
flowing from the President’s office – starting before he was re-
elected and continuing to this day – which attack members of the
Committee personally, and have slandered opposing candidates
in elections. I don’t need the Committee to publish that info – it
came directly from the President’s office. Third, I have also read
Overture articles and received e-mails from the board stating
that Fi-Core or Beck Status musicians are union-busting scabs,
when the NLRB states this as a legal option for union musicians.
For the board to attack Fi-Core musicians who are financing the
union and paying their salaries (paying roughly 85% of their dues
as required by this status) goes way beyond their role as union
officers. I have heard numerous stories of contractors not hiring
Fi-Core musicians in favor of full-membership musicians – an
illegal practice, as Fi-Core musicians are legally able to work
union dates. Fourth, we all know of the board’s attempt to chase
non-union scoring sessions out of town and/or prevent the
sessions from taking place. They often publish the names of
those they are attacking in e-mails and Overture columns,
potentially damaging their reputations in the process.

With all of this intimidation and propaganda coming from our
union officials, is it any wonder why the Committee or a reader
of their e-mails, knowing that union officials are reading them
too, wants to keep their identity hidden? If you ask me, requiring
the Committee or readers to provide their names would certainly
jeopardize their reputation in union circles and their livelihood as
well. The Committee has actually provided an incentive for those
who would otherwise remain silent about their concerns to come
forward without fear of attacks from union officials.

Just my 2 cents,

The Invisible Man”



Please don’t forget the meeting this April 28th, 7pm at the Local. We’ll be electing a new election board and someone to replace Michael Grego as Trustee.

You can only make a difference if you are there.


Leave a Reply