As Local 802 continues its campaign to “Shine a Light on Dark Dates,” the New Organizing Department has been recruiting musicians to volunteer to become communication liaisons. So far, about 17 musicians have agreed to keep at least five of their colleagues informed on key union issues related to recording. That means that, out of about 500 musicians who work consistently in the recording field, about 80 people are now officially “in the loop.”
Liaisons have agreed to call their five contacts to both pass on important information from the union and to collect information and ideas from their colleagues. The goal of this communications network is to become a valuable tool to assist the efforts of the current recording campaign and to help strengthen the union’s hand during the upcoming Phono and Film negotiations.
“This system is more than a simple phone tree,” said President Moriarity. “It is meant as a way for our members to begin to discuss amongst themselves and with the union ways to make it easier to earn a living with decent union benefits in the recording field.” Once this communication system is built, the union hopes to have the ability to quickly pass along important information or gain information about specific nonunion dates or other relevant problems.
So far, the union is right on schedule in its recruitment effort. Joe Eisman, the newly appointed New Organizing Director, told Allegro, “We hope to recruit about 25 more musicians to act as liaisons within the next few months. If you work in the recording field, it is crucial that you join this communication network. Don’t lose your voice because you decided your opinions don’t matter.”
Recording Supervisor Jay Schaffner said he hopes an effective communication network will give some muscle to the union during the upcoming negotiations for the Film, Phono and Jingle agreements. “When we are sitting across the table from management, nothing can help our side more than having musicians actively informed and involved. I feel optimistic that, when we bargain with the industry, it will be from a position of real strength.”