CALL THE STEVEN SCOTT HOTLINE
Local 802 members who perform with any of the former Steven Scott leaders are required to report these engagements to Local 802. Calls may be made anonymously, 24 hours a day, to Local 802’s “Steven Scott Hotline,” at (212) 245-4802, ext. 116. Members may also call Long Island reps Frank DeFilippi or Peter Voccola at (516) 576-9436, club date rep Rich Schilio at (212) 245-4802, ext. 146, or club date supervisor Jim Hannen at ext. 141.
In the April issue of Allegro we first told you of the demise of Steven Scott Enterprises, one of the largest club date employers in the New York area. Since that time former Scott bands continue to work in the club date field, employing Local 802 members. For the past several months we have pursued and will continue to pursue all legal avenues under the successor provisions of the club date agreement to get these bands to recognize that they continue to be bound by the Local 802 Club Date agreement. We will also seek to collect thousands of dollars owed by Scott to the pension and health funds.
Ike Walkover, Marvin Austin, Stuart White, Anthony Mills and Todd Barrie have all filed for corporate status with New York state. In April, Local 802 filed charges against several of these entities with the National Labor Relations Board and then later with the New York State Employment Relations Board. We believe our chances are best at the state level where musicians are clearly considered employees.
The state board held informal conferences with several of the employers and Local 802 to determine whether our charges had merit. On Aug. 24, the board issued a complaint against Ike Walkover and is in the process of scheduling formal hearings. At these hearings we will have the opportunity to make the case that all of the former principals of Steven Scott are successor employers under 802’s club date agreement, are employers under state law, and are obligated under the terms and conditions of the agreement. We believe complaints will be issued against all the other leaders as well.
At least one of the former Scott leaders has required all his musicians to sign independent contractor agreements. Such agreements are illegal under state law, which recognizes musicians as employees, and may also be a violation of IRS statutes.
Misclassifying musicians as independent contractors may lead to fines and penalties for these employers under both state and federal law.
At every turn Local 802 has invited these leaders to come and in negotiate an agreement that would continue to provide valuable benefits while addressing their concerns. So far they have chosen to spend their money on attorneys rather than on musicians.
We remain committed to resolving this problem and will exhaust every legal remedy to bring these employers and their employees under a union contract.
On Aug. 4, an arbitration hearing was held to resolve the outstanding grievance against Scott for failure to pay health benefits for 2005 and pension contributions from September through December 2005. Neither Joey Mills nor any representative of Steven Scott attended the hearing. We were not surprised, since there can be no defense for failure to pay these benefits. Local 802 sought to include all the former Scott principals in this arbitration, but two of them managed to obtain a stay through legal maneuvering.
While we wait for the legal remedies to play out, we will continue to work to bring all former Scott leaders who continue to work and employ our members under contract.
In consultation with musicians, we will use whatever tactics are most effective in protecting the rights and benefits of out members.
See the gray box on the top right for important information on reporting engagements to the union.