Greetings Local 47 Colleagues!,

We have some additional comments and counter comments
concerning the rights issue for union members.

As a reminder to those who frequent the list, unless you give
specific permission your name will never be included in these
mailings. Only in this way can we guarantee your privacy from
potential retribution.

Today’s Comments:

I think it is good and necessary to have a place to discuss
union issues without reprisal. This email forum does just that.
If we had jobs with tenure or contract, this anonymous forum
perhaps wouldn’t be necessary. But since jobs are gotten by
whom one knows and whom one likes, it would be really
impossible to get honest opinions in an open, unsecret,
if you will, forum.
Let’s not quibble about who has set this dialogue in motion and
get to the point.
That being said, I think it would be a good idea for whoever
“the committee” is to label their opinion as such so we know who
the contributors are and who management is. No names necessary.

Thank you to John Given for his summary and links on the bills
for/against unionism.

From a previous E-mail
> While the posters’ point is valid concerning making additional
rules when there are already rules in place, if those rules are not
being enforced they must be made accountable for not enforcing
them. >

…… and the reply
Two final points regarding the brief rebuttal made to my earlier

If the current rules regime is not being appropriately enforced, the
complaint about non-enforcement should be with the US
Department of Labor (more specifically with the Dept. of Labor’s
Office of Labor-Management Standards). Creating a stricter rules
regime doesn’t address the enforcement effort directly, but
rather it harshly penalizes all unions, including the majority who
have followed the rules (this according to the testimony to the committee by two of the
panelists, one of whom was Deputy Director of the Office of
Labor-Management Standards at the time of the hearing).
Ironically, a more strict regime would likely mean that the Labor
Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards will have
more work to do, and will therefore be even less likely to fully
enforce all the provisions of the original law, let alone any new
provisions created in amendments to the law.

Are there specific compliance issues with the Labor-Management
Reporting and Disclosure Act that anyone reading this e-mail list feels
Local 47 or the National AFM has not properly addressed? If the answer
is no, why would you create a situation where the Union, having likely
done nothing wrong as relates to LMRDA, would potentially incur
tremendous additional legal costs? At the very least, these costs
would mean that there is less money to address other important union
concerns. If the answer is yes, what are these complaints? I think it
would be very illustrative in the context of this discussion to find
out that there were or were not specific LRMDA enforcement issues with
our own union that anyone reading this was aware of and could post
here. I have a sneaking suspicion that there are none, but I don’t
have a way of knowing that without asking.

Finally, at least as it was delivered to me, the links that I included
are correct, but don’t seem to work. If you have difficulty clicking
on the link to see the entire testimony, please note that some e-mail
readers may insert additional characters into the line, and they need
to be removed. Some smart person may know a better way, but you can
simply trim out the resulting extra characters if this happens to you.
The link is:

And the extra characters that seemed to have been added were: %20%20.
If you remove those, the link will work properly. (Too bad the
Committee for a More Responsible Local 47 doesn’t have a web site where
links related to this and other discussions could live.) Though the
bills appear to be dead, I think it is interesting reading to go
through the entire testimony. If nothing else it may be an excellent
remedy for insomnia.

– John Given


A few thoughts from me, Rick Blanc. You can attach my name
or not — you have permanent permission. At first I was critical
of your policy of anonymity but I think the way you are doing it
is probably good given the circumstances, in that nobody gets
caught up in personalities and they’re not afraid to speak.

John Given did his research and found that the people who
sponsored the legislation were Republicans. Wow!
Whodathunkit? Of course they are Republicans because
Democrats are the beneficiaries of union largesse, and no way
do they want to publicize the fact that lots of disgruntled union
members have been blindly made to contribute to their

Given’s remarks unwittingly support my own thoughts:
1) Republicans want unions to be responsible to their

2) Republicans want union members to know what their money
is being spent for. Excuse me but I see nothing wrong in the
aforementioned. Given’s research, finding Republicans behind
pending legislation to reform American labor unions proves that
the Democrats are less concerned about the rights of union

I would ask Mr. Givens for clarification on the Democratic
Party’s proposals on union reform. THERE AIN’T ANY!

Rick Blanc


Further to the recent discussion about LMRDA and amendments
to it which were discussed in congressional subcommittee in
2003, here are two useful links for those who are interested in
getting additional information about LMRDA, as well as perhaps
investigating what information is readily available about your
own local.

The first is an overview called “Union Member Rights and Officer
Responsibilities Under the LMRDA” and is available at:

The second is a look-up page referenced on the first web page,
the OLMS Internet Public Disclosure Room:


From the Committee:

Comments on Mr. Blanc’s message: We don’t think it can be
denied that over time, all have benefited from the rules and
wages guaranteed by the work of unions. Even non-union
employees enjoy higher wages (in general) because of the
levels set by unions. This goes across party lines.

As the music market becomes more and more a global business,
changes have to be made if the work is too survive. Unions cannot
continue to work as they have in the world of 20 or even 10 years
ago, That world is gone. The only guarantees are that technology
will progress and the music production world will get even more

In future, posters should refrain from labels such as
Democrat and Republican. While this concerns union politics,
it in more for things that affect Local 47 politics and our
business here, rather than at the national party level. We don’t
want anyone’s contributions colored by such labels.

Thank you for writing and keep the dialogue going!


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