Author Archives: Rank and File

Negotiations News Flash

The AFM, after more than 7 years, has finally begun negotiations with the major TV Networks for a successor agreement covering Live TV/Videotape (American Idol, David Letterman, Academy Awards etc..). This has all come up at the last minute and negotiations are starting today in New York. Continue reading

Important Pension Fund information REDUCTION OF PENSION MULTIPLIER

The American Federation of Musicians and Employers Pension Fund (AFM-EP Fund) has posted the following important announcement on its website at www.afm-epf.org/.

“IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT – At its October 15, 2009 meeting, the Board of Trustees concluded that the residual effects on the Fund of the collapse of the financial markets will require another reduction in the future rate of benefit accrual effective January 1, 2010, Continue reading

October 2009 Newsletter

AFM and Union Democracy, Part 2 In Part 1 of this series, we documented how the AFM green-lights runaway film scoring through “banking and exchange” and sends your jobs overseas. We also shared with you that the EMSD puts together “special deals” for Live TV/Videotape; that there hasn’t been a negotiation or updated contract in years. Continue reading

Help fellow musicians protest canned ballet music

Ballet Company Replacing Musicians with Recordings Made in China

Dear friends and colleagues,

In June, 2008, the artistic staff of the Texas Ballet Theater traveled to Shanghai, paid $30,000 to the government of China and killed the jobs of AFM musicians. Then, two Board members of the ballet company were paid six-figure salaries, while the musicians were thrown out on the street.

The Texas Ballet Theater management is harming musicians, cheating it’s patrons and cheating it’s community. Onsite protests are taking place this week. You can download the flyer for the Dallas Local 72-147 action here. If you are outside of Dallas, you can help by using the link below.

Go to http://www.rmaweb.org/?page_id=59 to add your voice to those who think that live music is an integral part of live performance!

Second September Newsletter

The RMA September 2009 Newsletter is now online. Click here!

AFM Bylaws and IEB Policies

The IEB is the International Executive Board of the American Federation of Musicians. It consists of President Tom Lee, Vice President for Canada Bill Skolnik, International Vice President Harold Bradley, Secretary-Treasurer Sam Folio, and Executive Officers Ray Hair, Billy Linneman, Bob McGrew, Joe Parente and Erwin Price….read more.

September Newsletter

The RMA September 2009 Newsletter is now online. Click here!

AFM, Union Democracy, Dollars and Cents
Part 1

A new person was just hired to direct operations at the AFM Electronic Media Services Division (EMSD). Recording Musicians had no knowledge that an opening existed or had been created, and we played no role in vetting candidates. RMA has communicated with our new Director to wish her luck and offer our support in the difficult and complex tasks that face her…(read more)

Happy Labor Day

Dear RMA Members,

We offer you, your families and friends, very best wishes as you celebrate Labor Day. We hope it is a great holiday for all. This is a great time to reflect on the blessings that courageous men and women throughout the Labor Movement have brought both to us as individuals and to our communities. We owe them so very much, even as those struggles for social justice and worker rights continue.

In more recent times, some aspects of the Labor Movement have turned inward to bring reform not only to employer practice, but to union practice as well.

Our union, the American Federation of Musicians, continues to struggle with issues of Union Democracy and respectful treatment of its members.

An excellent article describing the current state of AFM affairs, complete with historical background, has been posted at http://www.afm143.org/

The author is Edward Shamgochian. He is the President of AFM Local 143, which is located in Worcester, Massachusetts. Mr. Shamgochian has been an AFM member for more than 60 years. His years of experience and perspective on how the AFM treats all of us makes for compelling reading.
Stay tuned for more…