August Committee mailing material….


We’ve had some interesting comments and commentary from a variety of subjects and perspectives from the July meeting; to our Health Plan and a remembrance of Earl Williams; not to mention a return of the OTHER SIDE OF THE COIN GUY! He certainly never disappoints.

Do you have anything concerning you about the future of our Local? Let us know!


….and now the Comments:

Hi: I want to thank you for your honest and comprehensive recap of the meeting. It is quite complete and honestly reported. Your minutes should be the ones in the overture!

However, I wanted to write my note very quickly, as I have many things to do, today, and have not finished reading your full report.

I would like to correct one item that concluded my reading at this moment. Your reflection of the Union’s income from dues is woefully inaccurate. You did NOT account for the diminished amount due to life members, of which I am one. My dues WERE 72 dollars a year. That did NOT allow me to work, OR VOTE! So, recently, after several years, I “upgraded”, to full LIFE MEMBER status to ninety dollars a year, so that I COULD VOTE! EIGHTEEN DOLLARS for my privilege to VOTE. I finally felt it was important enough to pay the difference. I am glad I did.

I want to thank the members at the meeting for their support and my opportunity to serve on the Salary Review Board. I hope, in my final years on this planet, to be useful to my brothers and sisters in this union. I am grateful I have the energy and time (and means) to contribute in this small way. You have my word I will do my best. (Please share this in your next communication to the rest of the “responsible” members.) I welcome all thoughts re my responsibilities and duties, and what is truly expected of me. (Please regard that as sincere and inviting.)

AND, please be sure Charles sees this, also. It is because of him, I think I am a better member.

Most sincerely,

Efrem (Violin) (my name, AND my instrument)


Well done all. I think the comment made about having an open forum meeting once per month on a regular Tuesday Board meeting would be great. This would be open for questions and answers from all the members. We all know that members attending the Board meetings is not mandatory but the question was raised that it should be mandatory within a 2 year administration term would be fine. The open forum meeting could be attending by as many that can make it. If all the members attending at least on meeting in two years there would be 9000 members divided by approximately 24 weeks in a term to be around 375 members attending each one of these meetings. That much knowledge and participation from the members would stir the heads of the Board. How many members are there that do not know about this past situation? There were members that attended that did not even know, they found out during the meeting.

I believe that we should have independent business people to come in and
give an outside opinion on how we do business. That point was also brought up. This would give our Union a fight against what is out there… We should be concentrating on work not paying for lawyers to investigate
members or staff of which should have been screened in the first place.

So let me say it here. We need to establish term limits for our Board and
Executive Staff. Something like you cannot run for more the 3 consecutive terms and then cannot run for 4 years or two terms after that. The Board members can only run 2 terms with 2 years in between. Something of that affect. I know we can sit and make sure that there are fair terms and make it retroactive so that the people in can do no further harm for the rest of their term. Every office in the U.S. Has term limits. Why don’t we. This would make sure that more people serve in an official capacity and also will get more Board members and regular members up for office. So that in a ten year span there would be more members having participated than in the past 40. We the members can vote on this an make it happen. Brother dearest and departed Totusek would have been the perfect person to draw this up… Who’s ready to step up. We need you. We need all of us.


The big moral mess of Local 47 just mimics the big moral mess at the White House. It is not that we had a 9/11 but it was certainly a “death” of values and of integrity which have deviated from what they were at the Union’s inception. We have a war of morality and integrity going on between the grassroots of the memberhship of Local 47 and the Board. The grassroots needs to expand their defense to more people so the outcome of this war of morality and intergrity will be one to once and for all, clean out the corrupted barn (aka Local 47) and replace the barnyard animals with a new slate of real leaders of the highest intergrity. The success of our grassroots mission depends on everyone pulling together with the same goal and the time to do this is now. We may have 2 more years of ‘you know who’ in the White House, but let’s not have 2 more years of ‘you know wha’ at the Union.


I am writing because I am not happy with the recent change in health care carrier from Blue Shield to Health Net. One of the primary reasons for the change is no longer an issue (the Providence Hospitals that were dropped have been reinstated). The doctors and facilities I had been using accept Blue Shield, as do the majority of doctors, but many of them are not on the Health Net list of cooperating physicians.

I would like to encourage anyone else who would prefer a return to Blue Shield to contact the union to let them know. I talked to Vince Trombetta, and he told me I could also contact Hal Espinosa and Jay Rosen who are also trustees. I talked to Rocio in the Health & Welfare office, but she told me she is just the administrator of the plan and does not make the decision as to which carrier is chosen.
Thank you.



Dear responsibles(I wish I knew your names):
A unique facete of Earl’s character was that while he served as Sergeant- at- Arms at local 47-staying in the waiting room- he knew more about union matters than many members of the Board of Directors convening in the Board Room. I got to know Earl in 1975 when I became a member of the Board, and he helped me on countless occasions to deal with union problems.

This was during the Max Herman Administration when the Board actually ran the union, and it included Serena and Marl Young of the current Executive Board.
Why did Earl not run for office?
My conclusion is that he loved Serena very much and he did not want to interfere with her career as a union officer.

Ardath and I want Serena to know how sorry we are over Earl’s passing.
I am also sorry that I cannot thank personally commresp47 members for the fine job they are doing.

Tibor Zelig

Why do people who generally think of themselves as ‘progressive’ cling to a sclerotic, backwardlooking status quo, and insist on its preservation?
Because they are “invested” in the status quo, regardless of its downside.
Partisan considerations notwithstanding, Americans — excluding socialists and communists — agree that market economies engaged in relatively free trade (the original definition of liberalism) seem to provide the best solutions to the challenges faced by populations everywhere. The mobility of the marketplace is the key principle.

Regulatory and interventionist regimes are common components of markets. Careful scrutiny as to their efficacy is required and these regimes must evolve as circumstances and context evolve.

The Musician’s Union practices and promulgates an out-of-date philosophy of market intervention, in this writer’s opinion, and is, as a result, ineffective in today’s marketplace. The AFM seems to be quite effective organizing labor in Seattle and Prague, but less so among its own members.
Producers will work wherever they choose and no amount of union posturing or selective enforcement will change that.

Actual progress for working musicians, which would put food on more musician’s tables and shoes on their kid’s feet, will require actual change: primarily the restructuring or demolition of the power structure. Union reform is not possible, in my opinion, because steps toward reform would systematically dismantle union power. The alternative to union reform is dissolution, which I believe is already underway and inevitable.

The current union structure is beneficial only to a limited number of members, while making political drones of the rest of the rank-and-file. Those enjoying the benefits have a strong incentive to \i preserve\i0 the benefits they enjoy, a dynamic typical of power structures. So why the loyalty of those not benefiting from the current cosmology? Why not step up utilization of local recording capacity, for example, without union interference?

We may be musicians and artists, but some of us are also nationals, capitalists, patriots, autonomous and fair-minded individuals who won’t be dictated to by a politburo that is either unwilling or incapable of modernizing itself.

The AFM announced it would no longer tolerate union members engaging in nonunion production. Rots o’ Ruck! The AFM is racing to the precipice, waiting for the next generation to ask the only relevant question: “Who needs these guys anyway?”

Rick Blanc
Member, Local 47


I think it is time the recording musicians left the federation, since they obviously cause you such grief. Their contributions in annual, WORK dues and RMA membership should go to an effective management system (professional legal representation, pension, payroll, public relationships-publicity) that represents their needs and no longer steps on your toes. Then you can support yourselves without their elitist help and everyone will be happy. The federation has never really been the friend of the working professional, especially the recording musician, going back as far as the 1950-60’s which is why the GUILD which got AFM members all of the real benefits which they still enjoy but seem eager to trade away came into existence: through hard work and the professional expense of several dedicated members trying to get ALL musicians what they deserve. There is a Readers Digest article from that period referring to the AFof M under Petrillo as the union which punishes it’s own.
Anyone can work as a recording musician. Like anything else, there are political avenues and skills as a player involved. Since the recording musicians are determined not to have their business dumbed down to the level of a casual or church job financially (as movies make millions to billions of dollars over time) they are to be considered elitist and not welcome in your club. So be it. It is time the business of recording for film and television and record by recording musicians-who are also recording artists-be treated in a similar fashion to actors and others. No one in SAG is calling Tom Hanks their enemy because he is successful. I call on every person who makes a living in music, especially recording, to abandon this union, so the more “responsible” members-some of which I think are small time composers wanting to keep all residuals, record checks, etc. for themselves, no longer have the “elitist” recording musicians to use as a scape goat. Let’s whittle this business down to near minimum wage, so we don’t have to feel bad about abandoning our art to work at Burger King or Wallmart. That must be the responsible thing to do.


I really don’t think that you will get things back to normal until an
election is held (special, if the bylaws permit) and you succeed in
replacing those people responsible for the whole fiasco. Eliminating
one cancer cell does not make the patient cancer free!


Local 47 Brothers and Sisters,

Thank you for reading. There is much happening behind the scenes that we will be informing you about, many MYTHS to be dispelled.

Be prepared to take part in this next election!

Until next time,


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