…Absolutely guaranteed anonymity – Former Musician’s Union officer

…The one voice of reason in a sea of insanity – Nashville ‘first call’
scoring musician

…Allows us to speak our minds without fear of reprisal – L.A. Symphonic musician

…Reporting issues the Musicians Union doesn’t dare to mention – National touring musician



Message from a current Local 47 member.

Local 47 officials moved heaven and earth to sell our former historic home and purchase a new soulless box that they said would solve so many problems and secure our financial future. That action has done exactly the opposite.

One of the past elected officers was right.  Local 47 does not have a good track record when it comes to managing projects.

After nearly two years without a quorum, Local 47 finally achieved the minimum of 50 to hold a formal General Membership Meeting, July 22, 2019.

The Local 47 officers gave their reports. The financial team of Blackrock and Merrill Lynch gave the membership their approach to managing the Musicians’ Club assets.

It is very clear that “Phase Two” (the promised “Multi-Purpose Room”) will probably not be built under present financial conditions.

Fact: “The Time is Now” campaign projected that there would be a 9-11 million dollars in endowment left after the sale of Vine Street. After the purchase and renovation of the new location, this turned out not to be true.

Fact: There is a little over 4 Million dollars being invested and every cent will be needed to pay the triple expenses of the property taxes and whatever else on the Winona property. The Board did not even want to spend the money to properly repair the multiple leaks from the big rains of the current season. Instead, opting to have their plumbing company contract to patch the roof areas with a two-year warranty. The cost of a proper repair would have likely taken the Club investment balance below the 4-Million-dollar mark.

Fact: Local 47 moved its headquarters out of the center of Hollywood into a non-descript building surrounded by an industrial park, two New York blocks from a major airport landing strip.

This last week the Union sent an email to the membership to take a Member Survey.  One of the questions reads as follows: At our former Hollywood headquarters we had an Auditorium. Would you like to see our current Burbank headquarters have a similar multi-purpose facility? Why or why not?

The writing is on the wall. The membership is being manipulated once again. It appears the game plan is to point to the survey and say well, the membership response (notorious for low participation) will not justify moving forward with “Phase Two”. The real reason is that the reality of adding more square footage will only increase the property taxes and overall expenses.

The Board has endeavored to try and get a big company and/or a high profile industry name to give several million for naming rights to “Phase Two”. Vice-President Baptist has opined that “we need an angel”.

Many CBA orchestras which are non-profit entities and other possible renters have been displaced from Local 47 rehearsal spaces.  How many CBA orchestras have been possibly compromised because of the reduction of supportive resources?

One other issue that came up was the new software program that Local 47 is creating with hopes of generating a revenue stream by making it accessible to other locals. No cost was discussed. Rumor has it that the cost is around $200K. How much money will this software program generate?

The Local lost tenants in the move and there is not a lot of extra space to rent. The question is whether this software “Ensemble 2” program will give Local 47 access to other locals’ membership and work data? Just asking?

At any rate, Pres. John Acosta, VP, Rick Baptist, Sec.- Treas. Gary Lasley, and the Executive Board, are spending more time, energy and money on the politics of going after government subsidies.  It would be nice if the subsidies benefited more than just a small fraction of the 6200 dues paying members.

Local 47 Member, In Good Standing



Two Boston City Hall Aides Convicted of Conspiring to Extort Music Festival Production Company

BOSTON – The City of Boston’s Director of Intergovernmental Affairs, Timothy Sullivan, and Kenneth Brissette, the Director of the City’s Office of Tourism, Sports and Entertainment were convicted today by a federal jury in Boston in connection with extorting a music festival production company operating on City Hall Plaza. 

Brissette and Sullivan both were convicted of Hobbs Act conspiracy, and Brissette was also convicted of Hobbs Act extortion.  The Court has not yet scheduled sentencing dates.

“This afternoon, a federal jury convicted Kenneth Brissette and Timothy Sullivan of extorting a private business to hire union labor that they did not want or need,” said United States Attorney Andrew E. Lelling. “Private companies that want to do business in Boston have the right to hire anyone they want – union or not – without fear of being threatened with economic disaster by government officials. That is the law. This was a hard fought victory, and one that reaffirms our commitment to take on cases that are in the public interest.”

“The FBI thanks the jury for their service and thoughtful deliberations,” said Joseph R. Bonavolonta, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Field Division. “Today’s verdicts show that public officials cannot use their positions to extort those who choose to use non-union labor. The FBI will not stand idly by while hard-working individuals are bullied and strong-armed by public servants. Everyone deserves access to a level playing field, and the excuse of “business as usual” isn’t good enough to earnest citizens who rely on  their own local governments to do right by them and their families. Let this case be a warning to municipal workers everywhere, it is the taxpayers they serve and answer to at the end of the day.”

“Today’s convictions affirm the U.S. Department of Labor Office of Inspector General’s commitment to protecting the American workers from extortion and unlawful influence. The defendants used threats of financial harm to obtain wages from a television production company for services that were not needed or required. We will continue working with our law enforcement partners to combat this type of criminal activity,” said Michael C. Mikulka, Special Agent-in-Charge, New York Region, U.S. Department of Labor Office of Inspector General.

Between June and September 2014, while a music festival production company was awaiting the issuance of certain permits and approvals required for its event, and seeking an agreement from the City of Boston to use City Hall Plaza for events beyond 2017, Brissette and Sullivan repeatedly advised the company that it would need to hire members of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) Local 11 to work the event. Local 11 had attempted to obtain work from the production company since March 2013. The production company told Brissette and Sullivan that it had already entered into a contract with a non-union company and hired all of its labor. Nevertheless, on Sept. 2, 2014, three days before the music festival was scheduled to begin, Brissette and Sullivan insisted that half of the production company’s labor force consist of union members. The production company agreed to hire nine members of Local 11 and entered into a contract with the union because they feared the company would be financially ruined if they did not accede to the these City officials’ demands.

The charge of extortion provides a sentence of up to 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of $250,000. The charge of conspiracy to extort provides a sentence of up to 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of $250,000. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

U.S. Attorney Lelling, FBI SAC Joseph R. Bonavolonta, and DOL OIG SAC Mikulka made the announcement today. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Laura J. Kaplan and Kristina E. Barclay of Lelling’s Criminal Division are prosecuting the case.

August 7th, 2019



Oh yeah – the so-called powerful Petrillo who cost us all the network staff jobs because we weren’t allowed to strike the networks…I was at network staff negotiations in the 60s when we were forced to reduce staffs from 65 to 25. Petrillo – no longer AFM prez sat snoozing in a chair not far from me.

As radio developed, network staff orchestras flourished not only in New York, Chicago and Los Angeles but also in cities like Denver and Pittsburgh where smaller radio orchestras were employed. In an attempt to force the hiring of more musicians at local radio stations, AFM President James Petrillo (1940-1958) called various strikes against them, causing Congress to write the Lea Act (also known as the Petrillo Act). Passed by Congress in 1946 and upheld by the Supreme Court in 1947, it was aimed specifically at preventing “featherbedding” in the broadcasting industry, severely restricting the AFM’s ability to bargain with industry for higher wages and more jobs. It was repealed in 1980 long after the demise of staff orchestras.


Until Next Time,

The Committee

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