In Brief

Volume CVIII, No. 9September, 2008


Claudia Copeland passed her six-month probation on July 2 and joins the Local 802 staff as an organizer. She earned her B.A. in women’s studies and English literature at SUNY (Buffalo). She spent six months in Jamaica researching workers’ struggles for unionization in Jamaica’s free trade zones. Claudia has worked as an organizer and contract administrator for such organizations as the Working Families Party, 1199 SEIU (United Healthcare Workers East), the Doctors Council and the Hotel Trades Council. Her experience ranges from organizing bottom-up campaigns to contract enforcement.


Musicians performing in the musicals “Young Frankenstein” and “South Pacific” recently reaped some extra benefits of their union contracts.

Both shows were featured in TV documentaries and therefore triggered new use payments.

Musicians in “Young Frankenstein” earned the equivalent of two television film sessions, which added up to $455.64 for side musicians. Musicians in “South Pacific” earned a minimum of $222.82 each.

On top of wages, some eligible musicians earned doubling, leader, contractor and other premiums. And all musicians earned pension and health payments.

“This is what happens when shows are union,” said 802 President Mary Landolfi. “If there had been no union agreement with these shows, then there wouldn’t have been any new use payments and musicians wouldn’t have been paid a dime when their work appeared on TV.”


If you played union gigs in the past six months but you didn’t qualify for the union’s health plan, you may be eligible to receive back a portion of your health contributions as a reimbursement. This reimbursement must be used to pay for health insurance. Restrictions apply. You must contact the union every six months, by March 31 and Sept. 30 of each year. For more information, contact the Local 802 Health Department at (212) 245-4802 and ask about the Premium Reimbursement Plan.


The Executive Board unanimously agreed on special situation status for the Broadway musical with the unusal name of “[title of show].” The show uses only keyboard sounds and the board agreed that utilizing one
keyboard player was acceptable.


When musicians are in need, Local 802 steps up. The union recently donated $5,000 to both the Columbus Symphony Orchestra and the Honolulu Symphony on behalf of their musicians. The Columbus musicians had been locked out by orchestra management and were losing both income and health benefits. Members of the Honolulu Symphony were performing without salaries because of the symphony’s financial problems.