Since the recent RMALA election, the RMALA, with their new president
Pete Anthony, is seemingly making strides to repair relations with the
National AFM, including a four-hour meeting with AFM President Tom
Lee and Secretary Sam Folio. Certainly this could not have been achieved
without the formal removal of the person with the biggest personality
conflict with the AFM President. Evidently, even the RMA hierarchy realized
no progress could be made until there was a change in their highest
leadership. Though one of the two most divisive people remains, and
though the other is still in control of the RMA International, progress
seems underway. As long as their negotiations do not guarantee non-
RMA members being shut out of work, we wish them luck.


As soon as last May the RMA/Espinosa group was trying to force
delegates to vote a certain way, and were hoping to take over the
national AFM at the June 2007 Election.

Though it was obvious to the Local 47 members in attendance that the
Federation had simply had enough of their games and intimidation and
the RMA would lose their power, we believe the Locals being kept informed
of the RMA’s and Local 47 leadership’s actions by the COMMITTEE had a
role to play in the outcome. Also, without the COMMITTEE’S activism, the
membership would have never known about the letters going back and
forth between the RMASF, THE RMALA, RMA International President Phil
Ayling, Skywalker Ranch and the National AFM. Before the COMMITTEE,
all of this would have remained unknown to the membership. Nor would
the rank and file been informed of the articles being printed about the
PMG in Variety or in Film Music Magazine. As we’ve said before, knowledge
is power, and we want a powerful membership.

After the Convention, we saw the RMALA’s attempts to convince everyone
that the National owed the Local over a million dollars, though later
a Variety item said the money was owed to the RMALA. It was BS of course.
Work is work and you pay dues on work, end of story. The recent new
contracts created by the AFM in spite of the RMA pulled the rug out from
under the RMA’s splinter group, the PMG, as well.

This too would have not been known by the membership or many of the
Federation Locals if not for the COMMITTEE and the important activism
of other groups like the FMA.

We’re glad the RMALA finally seems to realize that bullying and subterfuge
had reached its limit and that the world has changed to the point that their
games no longer work so well.

Hopefully, the RMALA attempts are honest and not some ruse. We hear
that at the meeting with the AFM, new RMALA board members were told
stories about the actions of the previous leadership that made their hair
stand on end!



We are seeing more material of interest to the rank and file and seemingly
more of an attempt to serve the rank and file members. Someone at the paper
at least is listening more. For that we are very thankful!

However, behind the scenes, the Local’s officers are stonewalling legitimate information requests more vehemently than ever. Even when informed, the other board members are doing nothing to keep the executive officers in check. In the past you might have to write four for five formal requests to the Secretary, ultimately having to threaten formal grievances to get the info you wanted. Most recently however, the administration is simply refusing to acknowledge the bylaws in certain requests.


Local 47 member Charles Fernandez at least two months ago began requesting a copy
of a letter written by new Local 47 Parliamentarian Paul Castillo to the board in August 2005. Since it was read in open board session, it is part of the official record and must be supplied upon request according to the bylaws.


At the July, 05 membership meeting, VP Trombetta made allegations against
a member so absurd that he was booed into silence.. Paul Castillo sent a letter the next
month (August, 05) demanding that VP Trombetta resign. As was said above, being read
in open session, that letter is part of the official record and can be requested by any member.

The Local has stonewalled for over two months and through six emails.
Member Fernandez told the COMMITTEE that it’s become a matter of principal:
“This administration has got to learn the rules apply to them as well as
other members. They are creating their own scandal by their behavior.
If they were to simply do the jobs they’re paid to do and the job required
by the bylaws, this matter would have been settled months ago.” The new
secretary can’t necessarily be faulted here, she’s obviously following orders,
the same orders followed by the previous secretary.

We’ll keep you informed.



On a related topic, The New Referral Service website is up, though if the
RS committee had not forced the board to re-instate the advertising budget
no one would have known it was there.
We recently received this critique of the new website by someone obviously knowledgeable in such matters. It’s rather eye-opening.

Dear Committee:

Before I comment on my experience with the new 47 website I would like
to say that Amie Moore has been very open and helpful concerning the
following issues.

The website itself is extremely slow in responding to uploads, more than
any network slow downs would indicate. The file size limit of 2MB only
allows a very limited amount of .jpegs or .mp3s, nowhere near enough
to showcase skills a Member may possess.

The most disappointing issue is the limit of 5 specialization/style areas.
My personal experience includes over a decade as a staff recording musician/
producer for the CBC in Canada. I had to quickly become expert
in many styles over a long period of time to keep my job. Now, in addition
to gigging in LA, I’m currently trying to break into scoring with some degree
of success so far.

Limiting me to only 5 categories severely curtails my chances for work because
it disallows me from listing all my proven capabilities.
I’m quite sure there are many more Members who feel limited and a bit
“ticked” by this impediment.

It almost appears the site is actually a beta-test. That would be OK
if we were warned, but the mailing I received from 47 gave the
impression the site was a done deal. If this is what 47 got for all the
$$$$$$ we’ve heard they/we spent, this is/was a rip-off BIG TIME!

I even offered to refer them to a student that does excellent, fast work
for a fraction of the thousands of dollars spent for a (at best) beta site.

At least Amie Moore did respond to my concerns, and said she would
bring the “5” limit issue to the VP.

We’ll see.

Doesn’t Local 47 know there are many Members w/tons of experience
that relocated here? It would almost lead one to consider if there was
someone attempting to constrict work to certain players. Hmmmm.

BTW I totally agree with the Member who stated that unions are by
nature parasitic and reactionary, and his comparison to unions and
penicillin. The Member was/is spot on!!

Thank you for your time

(This followed the next day)

I logged on to the Site yesterday after I e-mailed you. I tried to find
a keyboard player w/Afro-Cuban and Jazz experience. Whatever info
I put in from the pull-down menu, it came up “no matches found”.

So now there’s no Union keyboard players at all listed on the site?

I also wanted to upload some .jpegs and an .mp3 or two (under the
2MB limit). Yesterday, there was no “button” I could click on to upload
my files.

Now what? Because I dared to speak up I’m cut off from entering
any files, or it is just more very sloppy non-professional web work?




As to the member’s last comment, only those who sign up for the
referral service are listed there.

Beyond that, the membership really has been taken for a ride (along with
tens of thousands of our dues) getting to this point. Website looks great,
but doesn’t deliver to a professional standard. It’s like the musician who buys an instrument for how it looks and not how it sounds. Further, blame cannot go to the member services people, namely Amie and Nancy. They can only use what they’re given and have done great with what limited resources they have.


Almost 2 years ago, on the cover of the January, 2006 Overture was the
It was a real piece of work by the former office manager Doug Caine, singing the
praises of a great website to come, the fast tracking of which would occur the very
next month (February, 06).

Oops. That website, it turns out, was so badly done that it to be scrapped,
and since Mr. Espinosa didn’t bother to get a signed contract for the work,
the approx. $14,000 spent on it’s development had to be completely written
off. A total loss. Someone got a hell of a payday for work that was worthless.
That’s accountability with our dues?

In the ensuing 2 years the board has spent tens of thousands more and now it
turns out that they cheaped out on the site. It would be laughable if it wasn’t so
pathetic and showed a total lack of commitment to this member service.

Just like a Hollywood set, the job they do may look good on the outside,
but go behind the curtain and you find the value in some places is only
skin deep, i.e. member information requests and the website.

Hopefully, the board members will force the Executive Officers to take
immediate action on the website and any deficiencies there may be.

Please let us know your feedback on the new RS Website!

We want a complete a picture as possible, good or bad.



Please consider sending an email to your congresspersons and senators.
AFM Legislative Alert
Performance Rights Legislation

Dear Friends,

Ever since sound recordings were made part of copyright law in 1972, AFM
has been trying to get a royalty for performers when music is played on over-the-air AM/FM radio. With the introduction of the Performance Rights Act yesterday, our time has finally come to obtain a performance right in sound recordings. This will not be an easy fight. The broadcasters are very powerful. That’s why I urge you to send the attached letter to your representatives in Congress so that they will know that a musician who is their constituent will be affected by this legislation. Please feel free to modify and personalize the letter. To learn more about the performance rights campaign, go to www.musicfirstcoalition.org . Thank you very much for your help.
Best regards,
Hal Ponder
Director of Government Relations
American Federation of Musicians

Send a letter to the following decision maker(s):
Your Congressperson
Your Senators

Below is the sample letter:

Subject: Performance Rights Act

Dear ———–,
I am writing to ask you to co-sponsor the Performance Rights Act, H.R.
4789, S. 2500, a bill to grant a long-overdue performance right to performers
when their music is played on the radio. I am a member of the American
Federation of Musicians, a nationwide organization of over 90,000 professional musicians who will benefit from this legislation.
Performers create the music which terrestrial AM/FM radio needs to lure its
advertisers. But AM/FM radio refuses to pay a cent to those performers. It’s
time to correct this inequity.
Over-the-air AM/FM radio is still the dominant music platform in spite of the introduction of satellite, internet, and cable radio in recent years. But over-the-
air radio gets an unfair advantage over its competitors because the other music
platforms pay a royalty to performers. It’s time to level the playing field.
Performers lose out twice. They are not paid when their music is played on U.S.
radio and they are not paid when their music is played overseas. Royalties are
collected abroad for U.S. performers (because almost every other country in the
world has a performance right), but these royalties are not given to U.S.
performers because we do not have a reciprocal law.
I hope you will co-sponsor the Performance Rights Act, which will bring our law
up to par with all the other developed nations. It is finally time to recognize
and appropriately compensate those who make our country’s music – and
broadcasting – industry the most vibrant in the world. Thank you.

You can also go to this link to send your letter:



Colleagues, we’ve recently become aware of a website that may be a good
additional source of networking. This is not an endorsement, since we’ve
had no real dealings with the group, but it’s website looks rather promising.
Check it out! It does require a fee, so do your homework before joining!




The comments below represent only the views of the writer and not necessarily
the views of the COMMITTEE


Hello ________,

Fi-core / Beck objectors have gone underground. lets hope those who were
coerced into rejoining are not used as scape goats in the future. Fi-core are now
‘dark date’ musicians. They are legal whether the union wants to admit it or not.
Every action the union has taken thus far against fi-core/Beck objectors will not
only fail, but will undermine the union as a whole and result in ugly lawsuits that
the union will lose, and its members will pay for. The RMA/PMG and the present
Local 47 administration is directly responsible for knowingly breaking federal law,
I assume with Lou Levy’s expert advice as to how to “circumvent” the law. But
why should he care? He gets paid (by you & me) to give legal advice based on
what our officials elect tell him. So where is my ten cents? Contractors who shun
‘Becks’ by telling people they are ‘second-rate’ will eventually end up discrediting themselves and damaging union credibility.
If you really want solidarity, threats will not work. Giving the ‘you did wrong’
look is childish. And shunning your fellow musicians or trying to get them to quit
some committee by verbally abusing them will alienate them and drive all union
members further apart than ever before.



Have a safe and wonderful holiday season. We look forward to keeping you informed
on the behind the scenes of our Local and whatever else is of interest to you for many years to come and value your feedback whenever possible.

If there is anything you’d like us to look into, let us know!


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