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This op-ed was first published in the New York Daily News on Oct. 25, 2020
Rally to support musicians!
The year of the pandemic has been the most challenging time for Local 802 in our union’s entire history. To add to the urgency, we are facing the most important U.S. presidential election in our lifetime and it’s important that
No one will ever forget the summer of 2020. Many of us experienced the loss or illness of loved ones, the savage lack of justice in our country, the hope that change is possible, and the pain of not being
By Local 802 President Adam Krauthamer Recently I had the privilege to participate on a Zoom panel at Yale School of Music — my alma mater — with students who will soon be graduating and joining the workforce. The question
By Adam Krauthamer As we continue to adapt to our transformed lives and careers, I want to give you an update on how Local 802 is also adapting and working hard to best serve our members during this difficult time.
By Adam Krauthamer There are no words to describe the evolving crisis that all of us are experiencing right now. The pain and confusion are possibly at the highest level that many of us have ever felt, and I don’t
In mid-February, my office sent out an e-mail blast to all members of Local 802 about a Josh Groban gig that was taking place at Radio City Music Hall. Here’s what we sent out: AFM members are advised that the
In this month’s president’s report, I want to reprint a letter that was recently e-mailed to all members from the Local 802 Executive Board. On December 30, 2019, the AFM-EPF Trustees formally applied to the U.S. Treasury to reduce pension
The outcome of last year’s 802 election was virtually an entirely newly elected leadership at Local 802. Our administration was given a mandate to start changing the way our union works. It was a priority to hit the ground running
I often talk about the inevitability of change. As a community of musicians working in an ever-changing industry, we must both drive change and adapt to it. It’s vital to the success and power of our union to develop an
Our true power as a union comes from the collective engagement of all our members – whether you play in a TV band or a Broadway show, perform in a major orchestra at Lincoln Center, or work as a freelancer
The upcoming Oct. 23 membership meeting at Local 802 is extremely important. There will be a presentation by the DCINY Organizing Committee outlining their successful efforts this past summer and an update on their continued fight for a first contract
It’s been a busy nine months in office. We stabilized the 802 Health Plan, negotiated a new Broadway contract with the largest economic gains 802 has seen in decades, restored fiscal responsibility to 802’s budget, re-energized organizing, moved decisively on
Happy summer to all! I’m happy to report that Local 802, the Broadway League and the coordinated bargaining partners have entered into a new three-year collective bargaining agreement. The deal features the largest wage increase in the past two decades,
In less than a month, our Local 802 team will be attending the 101st convention of the AFM. This is the major gathering of the union, and it happens only once every three years. At the convention, delegates from all
In mid-April, well over 150 Local 802 musicians stood together at Dante Park, directly across from Lincoln Center, to demonstrate solidarity with their colleagues on strike at the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. A group of 30 brass musicians from the Metropolitan
Thanks to all the Local 802 musicians who came to the first membership meeting of the new administration on Feb. 27! The room was packed with well over 100 members – not only did we reach a quorum, but we
Every year, March is designated Women’s History Month by presidential proclamation. The month is set aside to honor women’s contributions in American history. One new milestone for women at 802 came through the recent election. Membership voted in 11 women
As our administration took office on Jan. 2, we knew there would be a certain amount of disarray at 802, given the way it has been managed in the past nine years. The prior administration left us with a budget
Throughout my campaign for president, I stressed that to become a stronger union we all need to openly acknowledge the daunting challenges we face: a declining union membership, less work under contract, an entire younger generation of musicians who
As 2018 comes to a close, it’s a good time to reflect on Local 802’s accomplishments and challenges this past year. In 2018, we awarded our first Emerging Artists Project grant to the Roxy Coss Quintet. The EAP is a
In mid-October, Local 802 became aware that the Manhattan Symphonie was hiring musicians to appear throughout a three-hour broadcast of “Fox and Friends.” Fox is not a signatory to the AFM Basic Cable agreement. No agreement was filed for this
It’s already shaping up to be a busy fall season at Local 802 and there’s lots to report this month. First of all, as most of you know by now, Local 802 and AGMA announced the details of an agreement
I hope everyone had a relaxing summer. For me, there was lots of union activity on the front burner. Here’s just a sample of what we accomplished in the past few months: The summer started with a low blow when
Congratulations to all of the Local 802 members who work on musicals that won a Tony this year, including “The Band’s Visit” (which won Best Musical) and “Once on This Island” (which won Best Revival). Let’s give a special shout-out
There’s lots of news to share this month. First of all, we are in full swing in our negotiations with the Metropolitan Opera and will keep you posted. Separately, I’m pleased to announce that Local 802 has reached an agreement
As you can see from our cover story, we’re pleased to feature the Roxy Coss Quintet, who are the winners of our inaugural Emerging Artists Project grant. This groundbreaking four-year award was designed to support emerging ensembles in New York
April is Jazz Appreciation Month, and jazz is a critical part of the history of both Local 802 and New York City. Jazz is truly one of America’s gifts to world music and Congress has even declared jazz to be
March is Women’s History Month, which has its roots in the textile industry, where women historically endured terrible working conditions. It’s the month when we remember the 146 victims of the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire, the largest industrial disaster in the
It was just over a year ago – on Jan. 20, 2017 – that Donald Trump was inaugurated as the 45th president of the United States. Many of us have taken part in protests over the past 12 months about
This report is a longer version of my column in this month’s International Musician. It includes that column, since I do not know if all of our local’s members read the International Musician, but I have expanded it to include
As 2017 comes to a close, it’s a good time to reflect on Local 802’s accomplishments and challenges this past year. To begin our look back, let’s remember us at our best. Many of you came together with Local 802
As Allegro goes to press, there are only a few days before the Nov. 7 general election in New York. We urge you to vote for our endorsed candidates (see www.local802afm.org/political-endorsements) and we also urge you to flip your ballot
As usual, there has been a lot of activity at Local 802 since my last report. First of all, I’m pleased to report that a majority of our endorsed candidates for City Council won their races in the NYC municipal
Summer is almost over and I want to touch base with everyone about the latest union updates. But first, we need to look back on one of this summer’s tragedies. In August, neo-Nazis and white supremacists marched on Charlottesville, Virginia.
It’s gearing up to be a great summer at Local 802. I’m proud to announce two exciting new programs that have the potential to bring new work to our members. The first is our brand-new online referral directory called www.newyorkmusicians.com.
Let me start my report this month with the topic that’s on everyone’s minds – our pension fund. At our recent Board of Trustees meeting, the AFM Pension Fund’s actuaries advised the board that better than expected investment returns will
I hope everyone is enjoying the warmer weather and the beginning of a beautiful spring. There’s been a lot going on at Local 802 in the month since my last report, and I’d like to share all the news with
As Allegro went to press, President Donald Trump had introduced a budget request that called for eliminating the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Even though this budget is
March is Women’s History Month, and this year we are kicking off a deep dive into our own gender demographics here at Local 802 in the hopes of starting to strategize how we can achieve a more equal balance between
I write these words with a heavy heart, but also with gratitude for the many musicians who have reached out to me over the past few weeks. On Jan. 12, my wife of 27 years, Yukiko, died after a long
I want to wish a Happy New Year to everyone. It’s hard to believe that another year has gone by and that so much has happened in our union and in our country. As we reflect on our accomplishments and
As I write these words, the country is still feeling the aftershock of the presidential election, which brought into office someone who many feel is an untested, unstable and unfit leader. I know that some of our members voted for
My report this month will be short because there’s really only one thing on our minds: the Nov. 8 election, which is just around the corner. In this issue, please see The Local 802 Endorsement Slate. As always, we do
It’s already shaping up to be a very busy season at Local 802. First, I’m happy to report that we have negotiated a successor agreement with Radio City Music Hall. It’s a three-year deal with increases in wages of 2
I hope that everyone had a great summer. For me and Local 802, it was jam-packed with Broadway negotiations, the AFM convention and election endorsements. Those three topics are what I want to address in this month’s column. First, you
This has been an intense summer and it’s only just begun. As I write these words, the nation is still recovering from the horrific attack that took place in mid-June at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando. The thoughts and prayers
Our union is about to celebrate a milestone: the 100th AFM Convention of Delegates will happen later this month. It’s worth getting a refresher on our history, which can also be found on the AFM’s web site. In the mid-1800s,
In mid-April, we learned that one of the great musical luminaries of our time is stepping down. Maestro James Levine will end his role as music director at the Metropolitan Opera at the end of this season. He will remain
By the time you read these words, our negotiating team will have met with the Broadway League a few times to exchange proposals and begin preliminary bargaining. I want our members to know that even though we would like to
This month, Local 802 will finally begin negotiations with the League for our upcoming Broadway agreement. Over the past year, we’ve been meeting with our Theatre Committee to come up with our basic proposals and strategy. Needless to say, this
I am pleased to be able to begin this report with some good news. The New York City Opera is alive again! After over two years in limbo, the company has new owners. A bankruptcy court has approved the group
Happy New Year to all! As I write these words, I’m in Tokyo at a meeting of the International Federation of Musicians, hosted by the Musicians’ Union of Japan, where we’re discussing, among other things, fair remuneration to musicians when
As 2015 draws to a close, I want to start by acknowledging the service of our outgoing Recording Vice President John O’Connor. John started his music career as a folksinger, songwriter and recording artist, a phase of his career that
It has been a busy time at Local 802 and as always, there is plenty to report. First of all, I’d like to give you an update on the Local 802 elections. This year, there were no opposing candidates in
Has the digital age been good to musicians? That bombshell question was recently asked by the New York Times in its cover magazine story, “The Creative Apocalypse That Wasn’t,” written by Steven Johnson. The article received a lot of blowback
Summertime usually means vacation travel, but in the life of a union president today, it means nonstop conferences, meetings and strategy sessions all over the world. I began the summer with a trip to London for a meeting with the
Summer is here and there’s a lot to report this month. First of all, our article in the May issue about the American Symphony Orchestra and Bard College went viral, attracting the most views of any article we’ve published in
It is with a heavy heart that I report the passing of Erwin Price on April 10 at the age of 92. Erwin had been a member of the union since 1946. He was Local 802’s recording vice president from
May is Labor History Month, so it’s appropriate that I begin by talking about Local 802’s involvement in the rally for a $15 minimum wage that took place on April 15. This movement started in New York City in 2012
It’s always great to start with some positive news. The Paul Taylor Dance Company – now called Paul Taylor’s American Modern Dance – is once again performing with live music. The newly-renamed company just finished its inaugural season, featuring the
Let’s start out this month with three pieces of good news. First, an appreciation for Bob Dylan, who has been a member of Local 802 since 1961. Mr. Dylan was recently honored by the Grammy foundation MusiCares as its person
One of the AFM’s many important contracts is the Theatrical Motion Picture and Television Film agreement, which covers musicians who score and sideline for movie and television. The latest and last negotiation session for the successor agreement took place in
As we say hello to a new year, it’s time to reflect on our challenges and successes from 2014. I would be remiss if I didn’t start by mentioning Michael Brown of Ferguson, Missouri and Eric Garner of Staten Island.
As I write these words, I’m on the way to London, visiting our colleagues at the British Musicians’ Union. Among other things, we’re talking about how to protect live musical theatre from producers who are constantly trying to chip away
Our jazz campaign got a major boost in mid-October, when New York’s City Council passed a resolution in support of our efforts. In recognizing Justice for Jazz Artists, members of City Council joined a growing number of voices calling for
We lost a beautiful soul on Aug. 20, when violinist and Local 802 member Mary Whitaker was taken from us. We were shocked and saddened beyond belief when we learned that Mary was murdered by a pair of deranged thieves
I am writing this on Aug. 18, the afternoon after Local 802 and the Metropolitan Opera finally came to an accord at 5:45 a.m. These negotiations have been a long, arduous, and sometimes torturous journey. The outstanding issue was the
Happy summer to all! As Allegro went to press, I had just returned from a conference of the International Federation of Musicians. This organization is a coalition of all musicians’ unions in the world, including the AFM. There were various
As spring turns into summer, let me give an update of Local 802 news and events. We continue to keep our focus on the musicians of the Metropolitan Opera as negotiations promise to be a challenge. At the final concert
As Allegro goes to press, Local 802 and the musicians of the Metropolitan Opera are beginning preparations to ramp up the campaign for a new contract. This is going to be a contentious negotiation. Local 802 has never received a
The big news this month is the announcement by the Paul Taylor Dance Company that it will once again be performing with live music, starting with their 2015 season. After decades of performing to recorded music, the company has once
Thank you to everyone who attended our New York City Opera gala, with special guest Placido Domingo. You made the event a success and ensured that the union’s Emergency Relief Fund has enough money to distribute to musicians who are
Greetings to all. The big news this month is that the musicians of the New York City Opera Orchestra are performing with special guests in a historic one-night concert at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 21 at City Center. This
I want to wish a Happy New Year to everyone. It’s hard to believe that another year has gone by and that so much has happened. As we reflect on our accomplishments and challenges, I’d like to offer a recap
We have a new mayor here in NYC, and I’d like to thank all of the Local 802 members and staff who helped support Bill de Blasio. We were an early endorser of Bill’s campaign, and we did so because
This has been one of the hardest months in my time as a musician, as a union president and as a New Yorker. The fact that the New York City Opera will be missing from the cultural scene is something
This month, we’re pleased to present in Allegro a story that’s stranger than fiction. It’s the story of a bronze plaque that Local 802 commissioned over 100 years ago from a well-known artist. The plaque was created to honor the
I hope that everyone had a great summer. You can see from the front page of the printed issue that the Local 802 Executive Board has endorsed Bill de Blasio for mayor of New York City. There are several reasons
I’d like to begin this month’s column with applause for Broadway musicians, who create so much theatrical magic that they were recognized at this year’s Tony awards. It goes without saying that Broadway wouldn’t be Broadway without live music. Congratulations
As union musicians, we have to remember that the fight for workers’ rights is global. Last month, as most of us know by now, the world grieved for the 1,127 garment workers killed by criminal negligence in Bangladesh, in the
As you can see from our cover story, our Justice for Jazz Artists Campaign recently entered new territory. Up until now, we’ve confined our protests to the sites of the various jazz clubs. But due to limited response from the
Jazz is truly one of America’s gifts to world music. Many Local 802 members are jazz musicians and jazz is a critical part of the history of both Local 802 and New York City. Congress has even declared jazz to
March is Women’s History Month and there are several features in this issue of Allegro that readers will find interesting, including an interview with Irene Breslaw on page 24. Ms. Breslaw will celebrate 37 years as Assistant Principal Violist with
In this issue we’re going to take a look at one of the most insidious forms of injustice for our musicians: age discrimination. When musicians aren’t hired because clients believe they’re “too old,” it really hurts. It’s especially painful because
These days, It seems to be fashionable to bust unions. As many of you know, Michigan recently became the 24th so-called right-to-work state in this country. I say “so-called” because the label “right to work” was invented by union
Let me begin this report by expressing my and our administration’s hope that you and your friends and family have fully recovered from Hurricane Sandy and its aftermath. If you still need assistance, please contact the office of our
Canned music has reared its ugly ahead again at Lincoln Center. In mid-October, we passed out leaflets in front of the Koch Theatre to inform the audience attending the traveling ballet revue “Stars of the 21st Century” that they are
SOLIDARITY WITH STAGEHANDS: Local 802 musicians brought music to a protest outside of Merkin Hall in support of the stagehands’ union (IATSE, Local 1). As Allegro went to press, the stagehands were attempting to finalize their contract with the venue.
ON THE WORLD STAGE: Musicians were well represented at the signing of the Beijing Treaty on Audiovisual Performances. From left: Alan Willaert (AFM vice president from Canada), Vince Trombetta (president of AFM Local 47), AFM president Ray Hair, Francis Gurry
As I write these words, union-busting Wisconsin governor Scott Walker has just won his recall election. How much does this matter to Local 802 members? I would say “plenty!” – but there is a narrow piece I’d like to focus
New York Musical Theatre Festival does the right thing I am always happy to start my monthly report with good news. The New York Musical Theatre Festival (NYMF), a crucial incubator for new musical theatre in New York City, has
Musicians for justice! Local 802 member, staff and supporters at an Occupy event last fall. Photo: Peter Unterweger Local 802 and New York City step up to May Day May is Labor History Month, and what a year it’s been
Say no to taped music! Musicians leafleted the March 13 performance of the Paul Taylor Dance Company, which now has the dubious distinction of being the forst resident company in one of Lincoln Center’s “big three” theatres to perform without
With the recent conclusion of the New York Philharmonic negotiations, we’ve arrived at a relatively calm spot. Or is it the eye of the storm? After a year of almost nonstop negotiations, it appears that we’ve arrived at a relatively
As we celebrate Black History Month, we also exhale on the New York City Opera negotiations. It’s time to move forward… February is Black History Month and we’re pleased to feature a cover story by our own jazz rep Todd
Performing at the Local 802 holiday party were (clockwise, from top left) Bertha Hope, Keisha St. Joan, Lucianna Padmore and Kim Clarke. Thanks for the great music! Photos: Bud Burridge These are hard times at the New York City Opera,
Pete Seeger Happy birthday to us all! As you read these words, Local 802 is just about to celebrate its 90th birthday in style at the Roseland Ballroom on Dec. 4. This isn’t just a party; it’s also a special
WE ARE THE 99 PERCENT! Local 802 members, staff and officers came together with other unions to Occupy Wall Street on Oct. 5. The Local 802 Executive Board voted unanimously to support the march. We received letters for and against
Thanks to help from our friends, we were able to win a Local 802 contract for a recent movie date. When everyone sticks together, we win… Musical director and pianist extraordinaire Bill Charlap (left) met up with Local 802’s Recording
The Met Opera Orchestra recently clinched a new contract. Earlier this summer, the opera toured Japan (above). See Duncan Patton’s story about the tour in this issue. We achieved deals with the Met Opera and with Radio City. Plus, we’re
Our live music campaign is more than “Priscilla” – it’s the big picture UNIONS COME TOGETHER! Above, Local 802 and AGMA join forces in the first-ever combined negotiating session with the New York City Opera. In the front row, from
Local 802 recently joined forces wit the Council for Living Music, which commissioned a survey of Broadway audiences. We now have hard data to support our claim that the public wants more live music, not less. Above, one page of
French hornists from the Detroit Symphony Orchestra performing at a protest last year in front of their concert hall. Musicians fought back a vicious union busting campaign by management and won a contract without losing their union. Photo: Hart Hollman
Local 802 leadership met recently with Jazz at Lincoln Center musicians and longtime union members Joe Temperley, Victor Goines and Ted Nash to discuss upcoming contract talks. March was a very busy month. First of all, as you can see
“Spiderman: Turn Off the Dark” is set to open this month. Above, the orchestra is ready for opening night. Broadway musicians will soon be covered by a new agreement. A Broadway agreement is reached in principle – and it’s looking
As recording negotiations continue, we’re fighting off regressive proposals from the industry. However, both sides have a common enemy: piracy With this issue, we welcome readers to the new all-color, glossy format of Allegro. We believe that it will be
A recent New York Times article on the “mournful coda” of the NYC music scene has caused a stir. Here’s how I feel about it… Let me begin my report with an apology. Last month, Allegro published a number of
At the recent IEB meeting, Local 802 was assigned new jurisdiction. Also, recording musicians gained a voice over their own fees. I recently returned from a meeting of the International Executive Board in Toronto and I would like to report
Our new live music campaign is ready to roll here in New York City. But in Detroit, why doesn’t management value its musicians? As musicians, we already know about the joy and beauty of live music. It’s why we’re musicians
Members who have been forgetting – or ignoring – their dues obligations to Local 802 need to know that we are serious about collecting If you’ve been ignoring your work dues bills from Local 802 – or if you’re supposed
WEST COAST VISIT: Leslie Lashinsky, the secretary/treasurer of Local 47 (Los Angeles), recently visited the Local 802 Executive Board. Pictured in the front row, from left, are Tino Gagliardi, Leslie Lashinsky and Jay Blumenthal. In the back row, from left,
The AFM convention gave us a new president and new responsibilities: Local 802 is once again represented on the International Executive Board It was quite a trip. As I write this, the Local 802 delegation has just returned from the
We’re heading off to the AFM Convention, which has a lot on its agenda. First item: we say no to a proposed dues increase. See full list of AFM resolutions and recommendations here. An important event is on the horizon:
Bylaw resolution would put judgement back in the hands of members Sometimes big changes come in small packages. In the last issue of Allegro, a bylaw resolution was printed that will be considered at our June 16 membership meeting. The
As many members may know by now, our pension fund lost a lot of money in the stock market declines over the past two years. First, I want to remind you that everyone’s pension is protected by law and no
Who’s the employer? This is sometimes one of the most difficult issues when the union negotiates a contract for musicians. The question has come up again, this time with Lincoln Center and its “American Songbook” series. The program was launched
MEMBER PARTICIPATION WILL BE CRUCIAL TO UNION’S SUCCESS February is Black History Month, a time of observance and remembrance of the important events and people of African American descent. Let us all take the time to honor the contributions of
Working together, we can recognize our common bonds As the newly elected president of our local, I look forward to the opportunity to get to know and to work with all of the talented musicians who comprise this great union.
Now that I have been serving as president of Local 802 for almost three years, I’ve developed a few opinions about the state of our union. It’s easy to place the blame for our conflicts on the events of the
An event honoring Jim Claffey becomes a way to donate to a worthy cause Most members are aware that since the time of the Moriarity administration, Local 802 has tried to build closer relationships with other entertainment unions. One of
As I write, I have just returned from Norfolk, Virginia where I attended the annual conference of the International Conference of Symphony and Opera Musicians(ICSOM). This is the first year I have been able to attend and I think it
Readers will observe from the ads and other content in this issue that we are approaching a new election here at Local 802 and that campaigns are heating up. For many, the reaction is one of dread, in anticipation of
This fall, we will be entering a new election cycle at Local 802. I stepped forward in 2006 because I believed that this organization was on a wrong course. That is certainly not an opinion that is universally shared, but
Health fund a bright spot in otherwise down economy Our challenges continue as the economy begins to stabilize (we hope). Although the stock market has recovered somewhat from the lows immediately after the financial collapse, it has a long way
Question: “Should Local 802 membership be limited to musicians who work under a certain number of union contracts, or should membership continue to be open to anyone who wants to join?” That was what we asked members this month in
I got an e-mail from our controller, Ira Goldman, several days ago. It was a two-sentence message: “What can be done about a membership drive? Numbers are declining.” Ira is looking at the problem of declining membership from purely a
2009 is an election year at Local 802. Later this year there will also be important local and municipal elections in New York and New Jersey. Elections are always important whether at the national level or within a union local
He is a prince among men, a gentle and kind soul. I won’t identify him now, but he is the kind of player that has name recognition outside our membership. In other words, he has “star power.” He’s a little
As I write this column, the economic downturn continues and the consequences of the recession are being felt, not only in the personal finances of all citizens, but also in the budgets of state and local governmental bodies. Here in
Although the holiday season is upon us, the atmosphere is distinctly un-jolly. The stock market continues its gyrations, unemployment has begun to skyrocket and the call for a bailout for various segments of the economy continues. One can easily understand
An historic election day is past. The United States has elected its first African-American president, Barack Obama, who won in decisive fashion, and Local 802 was part of the victory. Our new activist group — the Local 802 Power Boosters
As I write this article, the news from the national stage is not good; in fact, it’s downright alarming. In the midst of our presidential election cycle, we are experiencing an economic upheaval not seen in nearly 80 years. On
A new organization has been in contact with some of our members with the goal of raising funds. I refer to the “Fareplay Legal Action Fund,” an organization in Santa Monica, California, which has undertaken the task of raising funds
In June, our “Beat on the Street” column featured a question that might seem on the surface an unusual one to ask of professional musicians: “Should musicians play for free?” At first glance, the answer might appear to be an
I write this column in the aftermath of our June 11 membership meeting, at which charges were read against an officer. It is clear, at least in my opinion, that we are still dealing with the fallout of the Radio
As those members who subscribe to 802 Notes are already aware, I am working to schedule a meeting with representatives of our pension fund (AFM-EPF) for our membership. This would be a follow-up to the meeting which was held in
UPDATEAs Allegro went to press, the producers of “Cry-Baby” withdrew their request for Special Situation status. See box below article. Last month Allegro ran an article about the Lincoln Center Theatre production of “South Pacific” currently performing with an orchestra of 30.
I returned from pension fund meetings in California this week to a stack of mail. One piece was of particular interest and it could be a catalyst for a new alliance in an area that has concerned our members for
Solidarity means sticking together. President Mary Landolfi accepted a plaque of thanks and a soldarity award from the stagehands’ union at a solidarity party thrown by IATSE Local 1 on Feb. 9. Hundreds of union members from the Broadway community
Jerry Ashby passed away on Dec. 26. He’s pictured above on French horn, along with David Finlayson (trombone), Warren Deck (tuba), Carl Sakofsky (trumpet, left) and Wilmer Wise (trumpet, right). See Wilmer Wise’s letter remembering Jerry Ashby and Jerry Ashby’s
I sit at my desk in December with the rush of the holiday season in full swing. The strike of IATSE Local 1, the first in its 121-year history, is over; that is a relief to everyone. A few statistics
In ancient times, the Romans worshipped Janus, the two-faced deity who looked both toward the past and the future. From that root came our name for the month of January, but somehow we do not do as the Romans do,
There’s an old picture of my grandfather hanging on the wall of my office. He is holding his clarinet, a member of the house band in the Circle Theatre, Indianapolis, Indiana, circa 1920 — 26 pieces plus conductor. Those were
It’s sometimes an open debate in our union whether we should or should not be involved in politics. Especially when it comes to endorsing candidates, many members throw up their hands when we publicly support someone on the “wrong” side
When Allegro last went to print, I was in the midst of attending the 97th AFM Convention in Las Vegas. Much of what must be reported about the convention is negative, but in spite of that fact, I think Local
The ratification of the new Broadway agreement marks the close of the first significant chapter of this, my first term in office. I believe that the overwhelming vote in favor of the contract indicates that musicians working on Broadway agree
BETTER MUSIC ED ABROAD? The following letter by Mary Landolfi was published in the New York Times on April 22 in response to a Times article about the choice of the new music director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic. To
You know you’re getting old when standards once widely accepted are replaced by a new reality. “In my day…” has always been the identifying cry of those whose day is past. Time does march on and the old always makes
As I sit in the office, February has just begun. The transition required by a new administration is well underway and I would like to report on the progress which has been made. After a hiatus of over a year,
The new Executive Board pause for a photo before their first meeting. AFM President Tom Lee shakes Landolfi’s hand after swearing her in. Photos by Walter Karling. I planned to write this month’s column about the progress the administration is
Let me express my congratulations to all the winning candidates in our recent election, my gratitude to the membership for placing their confidence in me and my thanks to those members of the former administration who assisted in the transition
For several decades, as union membership declined as a share of the American workforce, union leaders refused to acknowledge the problem. Union density — the percentage of the workforce that is unionized — was at its highest in the post-World
First implemented in the 1993 contract between Local 802 and the League of American Theatres and Producers, the Special Situations exception allows shows that qualify — under certain criteria — to utilize fewer than the agreed upon minimum for the
ICSOM Salutes 802 The following resolution was passed unanimously at the 2006 International Conference of Symphony and Opera Musicians (ICSOM): Whereas, The virtual orchestra machine represents a very real threat to live music; and Whereas, Local 802, under the leadership
My statement to the members at the June 13 membership meeting: I want to report to you that on Tuesday, June 6 the Local 802 Executive Board – by a vote of 5 to 4 – passed a motion asking
BROADWAY As announced in my column last month, the Broadway Community Initiative is a series of seminars that will help all theatre musicians become more familiar with the terms and conditions of the contract under which they work. At the
BROADWAY Preparations for the 2007 Broadway negotiations are well underway. Recently, the Local 802 Executive Board approved a Broadway Community Initiative proposed by the Broadway Theatre Committee. The initiative will provide a training program for the Broadway delegates, which will
It was a busy week for the AFM International Executive Board when we convened our first quarter meeting in Washington D.C. last week, from March 28-31. I would like to take this opportunity to review some of the highlights of
On Jan. 20, 2006, concerns regarding the personal use of the union’s credit card were brought to the attention of the Local 802 Executive Board. The board immediately addressed the issue and, after consulting with 802 Controller Matt Milne and
TRANSCRIPT AVAILABLE A transcript of the Feb. 14 membership meeting is being prepared and will soon be available. Members can request a copy through the office of the president or the recording vice-president, at (212) 245-4802. A HISTORIC MEETING Our
LOCAL 802’S MISSION STATEMENT We are the Associated Musicians of Greater New York, American Federation of Musicians Local 802, one of the largest local unions of professional musicians in the world. We unite to fight for the common interests of
The crisis at Radio City, and the innumerable difficult decisions that were made throughout the struggle, will most certainly be the subject of much discussion and debate for some time to come. In so many ways, our fight at Radio
Mayor: Mike Bloomberg Mayor Bloomberg has a demonstrable record on the arts and his administration has proven to be one of the most supportive of the arts community in decades. His administration lobbied successfully to create tax incentives for the
Click here for information if you need help, or if you want to donate. When the waters came, the music in New Orleans stopped for the first time in 300 years. Symphony players, jazz artists and street musicians all tried
Delegates to the AFM Convention voted unanimously to adopt 802’s resolution calling on the AFM to take whatever steps necessary to ban the virtual orchestra machine. The resolution directs the AFM to commit whatever resources necessary to wage the national
EMERGENCY RECOMMENDATION NO. 8 The AFM Futures Committee was established by order of the delegates of the AFM’s 95th biennial convention of 2003, through the adoption of Emergency Recommendation No. 8. The Recommendation put in place a comprehensive financial package
Local 802 and AFM Local 47 (Los Angeles) recently teamed up to fight the use of the virtual orchestra machine at the Nederlander’s Pantages Theatre in L.A. At the center of the fight is Realtime Music Solutions, the company that
Local 802 recently became the newest member of the Working Families Party of New York. Joining with over 80 other labor and community organizations, we are the first entertainment industry union to enter the Working Families Party. By becoming a
As previously reported, on Sept. 30, the Special Situations Committee convened to hear the first case under the new terms of the Broadway agreement. The request for consideration of Special Situation Status came from the producers of the musical “All
2004 DUES INCREASE In October 2003, in response to a bylaw resolution submitted by the Local 802 Executive Board, members voted in favor of raising dues by a margin of over 2-1. It was the first time since 1996 that
On Dec. 13, Local 802 testified on behalf of the Hudson Yards Affordable Housing Committee before the New York City Council. As Allegro went to press, the council was holding hearings on the redevelopment of the Far West Side of
As 2004 comes to a close, it is important to look back on the initiatives we set out to accomplish and prepare for the road ahead. At the beginning of the year we pledged: TO INCREASE OUR COMMITMENT TO ORGANIZING,
THE EVOLUTION OF SPECIAL SITUATIONS First implemented in the 1993 contract between Local 802 and the League of American Theatres and Producers, the Special Situations exception allows shows that qualify — under certain criteria — to utilize fewer than the
It should come as no surprise that Local 802 has endorsed Senator John Kerry for president. In this column, I explain exactly why we believe he is the best choice and what we in Local 802 can do to help
WHY ORGANIZE? For several decades, as union membership declined as a share of the American workforce, union leaders refused to acknowledge the problem. Union density, the percentage of the workforce that is unionized, was at its highest in the post
802 to Chair Affordable Housing Committee, Partner With Jets on Arts Education Initiative.Click here for update On June 1, Local 802 formally accepted an invitation to join the Hudson Yards Coalition. The Hudson Yards’ plans for Manhattan’s Far West Side
Six months have passed since the new Local 802 administration was elected. The following is an overview of what we’ve accomplished so far — and the road ahead. Last October, members of Local 802 voted to raise their own dues.
On April 13, Local 802 achieved another precedent-setting agreement against the use of the virtual orchestra machine. This time the battleground was at the Variety Arts Theatre, one of Off Broadway’s largest houses. An eleventh-hour agreement was reached shortly before
Did you ever think you’d see the day when a machine designed to eliminate live music, and ultimately jobs, would try to pass itself off as the injured party? Well, my friends, that day has arrived. On March 4, approximately
On Feb. 6, Local 802 achieved an unprecedented agreement with the Opera Company of Brooklyn (OCB) that bans the use of the virtual orchestra machine and commits the company to use only live musicians in all future productions. In the
In the last issue, I promised to focus this report on some of the changes and external priorities of the new administration. The following remarks, which I delivered at the Jan. 6 Installation Ceremony, outline the beginning of a new
It is with great anticipation and a profound sense of responsibility that I assume the duties of the office of president. I congratulate my fellow officers, Jay Blumenthal and Bill Dennison, and commit to working together with them to build
Printed at right is the notification distributed by the American Federation of Musicians and Employers’ Pension Fund regarding pension benefits cuts that will become effective Jan. 1, 2004. The trustees of the fund took these actions, at the recommendation of
As you may recall, in the almost two years leading up to the past Broadway negotiations, Local 802 engaged in a public relations campaign built around the theme of live music. A series of radio ads was created, read both
The membership meeting to be held on Tuesday, Oct. 21, at 3 p.m. in the Club Room will consider six bylaw amendments. One was submitted by the Local 802 Executive Board and five were submitted by Local 802 members, with
For more than ten years it has been recognized within the AFM that the Federation was in a precarious financial situation. At conventions in 1991 and 1993 compromise revenue and expense packages were put together that were meant to address
The AFM’s 95th convention is scheduled to be held at the Riviera Hotel in Las Vegas on June 23-25. As always a number of bylaw modifications are being proposed. Eighteen of these amendments were submitted by the International Executive Board
As I write this, ratification of the new Broadway terms and conditions has not yet taken place. These terms and conditions arrived after a very difficult fight. As many know, the union was forced to consider significant lowering of the
There is no more important word in a union member’s vocabulary than “solidarity.” It speaks to everything we stand for as union members and as working people. Solidarity is the only viable defense for those without power, wealth, or position.
Last month I reported that AFM local officers and representatives of the AFM symphonic player conferences were scheduled to meet in Chicago on Jan. 13 to discuss recording issues. That meeting took place and, while no significant conclusions were reached,
On Jan. 13, the AFM convened a meeting in Chicago to address issues that have arisen over symphonic recordings, radio broadcasts, television broadcasts, internet activity and the appropriate payment of recorded archival material that may be released on a commercial
As I write this, Broadway negotiations are tentatively scheduled to begin in late December or early January. The Broadway Theatre Committee, made up of representatives from each show, has been working for more than a year and a half to
On Sept. 3, a bankruptcy judge rejected a deal for the German media giant Bertlesmann to buy the assets of the bankrupt Web site Napster, claiming that the two managements were too cozy. Napster may be saved yet by an
This past spring, after more than a year of on-and-off negotiations with the League of American Theatres and Producers, the AFM reached a new agreement covering touring shows. But even as the agreement was being signed, other producers were stepping
The second Unity Conference took place Aug. 14-18 in Ottawa, Canada. A full report on its activities, as reported by Assistant Director and Concert Supervisor David Lennon, can be found here. The first Unity Conference was held in Las Vegas
A great deal of public discussion about how to rebuild the World Trade Center site has taken place in recent weeks. The immediate impetus for it was the unveiling of plans submitted by six designers to the Lower Manhattan Development
The rapid concentration that has been taking place in radio station ownership over the past several years has profound implications for listeners, record companies, and recording and concertizing musicians. A fair amount of media attention has been given to this
On April 23 – after nearly a year of negotiation and 13 months after expiration of the previous agreement – the AFM and the League of American Theatres and Producers, Inc., reached tentative agreement on terms and conditions of a
Due to the hit-or-miss nature of Local 802 records and an absence of specific information in Allegro articles prior to 1983, the background and history of theatre minimums has been difficult to obtain with any accuracy. However, by piecing together
In last month’s report on the arbitrator’s decision on modifications to the AFM-EP Fund’s pre- and post-retirement benefits, I noted that implementation of these changes was to be discussed at the Feb. 19 and 20 trustee meetings. These meetings have
The decision of the arbitrator in the AFM & EP Fund deadlock arbitration (see the President’s Report in the July/August 2001 Allegro and the article in the September 2001 issue) is in – and, unhappily, it is a classic arbitration
Over the last month or so, Local 802 has reached agreement with two important employers of jazz musicians for improved terms and conditions. The first of these, the New School, engages more than 70 musicians, a number of them performing
Over the past several years much has been written and discussed about the power music has to affect our physical and mental processes. Most of the discussion has centered around the education system – but in the days following Sept.
In my October report I introduced and published significant excerpts from a study of independent record labels by Stanley Aronowitz and Michael Roberts. Their study clarifies the relationships that exist between and among the various “independent” record labels and the
On Sept. 11 and 12, the Board of Trustees of the American Federation of Musicians and Employers’ Pension Fund had scheduled one of its three annual meetings, this one at the Fund offices at One Penn Plaza at 34th and
In January of 1999, as part of its effort to organize recording musicians, Local 802 commissioned a study of the “independent” recording companies doing business within the union’s jurisdiction. We had been encouraged in this initiative by the Noise Action
The AFM Pamphlet B Touring Theatrical Agreement expires on August 31. Its original term was April 11, 1999, through March 31, 2001, but it was extended for a five-month period by mutual agreement of the parties, the AFM and the
On July 9 and 10, for the first time in the existence of the AFM & Employers Pension Fund, the Fund’s employer trustees and union trustees will present contrasting positions on two important issues of Fund policy and plan design
In March, I reported on the financial difficulties being experienced by the Local 802 Health Benefits Plan. Increased insurance premium costs (which rose by a total of $780,000 during the 18 months ending June 30, 2000) and greater payments for
Phil Sipser passed away on the morning of March 31, after suffering for a lengthy period of time from respiratory and heart ailments. He had served as legal counsel to the Local 802 rank-and-file Theatre Committee for the 1975 negotiation,
Local 802’s involvement with tenant issues goes back to the beginning of the John Glasel administration in 1983. Both John and Judy West, then the union’s Public Relations/Legislative Director, understood that, for the labor movement to realize its full potential,
Over the past several months prolonged discussion has taken place among the trustees of the Local 802 Health Benefits Plan concerning the plan’s present financial dilemma. Beginning in 1999 a combination of factors has resulted in a precipitous decline in
January 1 marked the beginning of a new three-year term of office for this administration, a period which promises some of the most difficult challenges the union has yet faced. A term of this length, of course, allows most of
“An analysis of the factual record of this case in light of the governing authority reveals that the musicians here are employees, subject to Apollo’s right of control, without opportunity for entrepreneurial gain or loss in their relationship with the
Among the immediate priorities of John Glasel’s administration, when it took office in 1983, was to develop strategies and tactics to combat the ongoing exploitation of musicians working in the jazz field, and to bring economic dignity to this area
HOW THIS ELECTION WILL AFFECT OUR LIVES On these pages you will find a comparison of Vice-President Gore’s and Governor Bush’s positions on a variety of issues important to the labor movement. Please read this information carefully and then be
When we took office nearly eight years ago, one priority we hoped to address was the proliferation of recording engagements that were taking place without benefit of union contract. Extensive discussion with the musicians doing the work, and with officers
(See also the SAG/AFTRA article in this issue of Allegro.) As this column is written, the SAG/AFTRA strike against the advertising industry is entering its tenth week. The issue in dispute concerns the basic structure of actors’ pay for radio
In my report last November, I mentioned that the local was beginning a process of long-term strategic planning. It is to be hoped that this will give us a better understanding of our place in the entertainment industry and the
Over the past several months, in this column and in The Musician’s Voice, a relatively low volume discussion has been taking place regarding the pay structure contained in the AFM Television Film Labor Agreement. The subject, specifically, was the Motion
The last two issues of Allegro have contained letters from Canadian AFM and local officers which addressed the subject of so-called runaway film scoring. The writers told of their experience with this phenomenon, and the steps that have been taken
As is reported elsewhere in this issue, Broadway musicians recently ratified the new agreement between Local 802 and the Broadway Television Network (BTN) by a two-to-one margin. The aspect of this activity (pay-per-view telecasts of live shows and the subsequent
The ability to freely express ideas and opinions has been an essential part of the U.S. labor movement’s struggles since its beginnings more than 100 years ago. Trade unionists were among the first to engage in free speech battles and
The two-week work stoppage at the New York City Ballet has ended and The Nutcracker is once again being performed with a live orchestra. From all reports, the audience greeted the orchestra’s return with great warmth – and we were
Elsewhere in this issue you will find the text of the agreement between Local 802 and B.V. Theatrical Ventures, Inc. (Disney) settling disputes over the move of Beauty and the Beast from the Palace Theatre to the Lunt-Fontanne. I believe
Well, we finally won one. Local 802’s denial of special situation status for the musical Saturday Night Fever was upheld by the contractually mandated hearing panel’s decision, rendered after arguments were heard on Sept. 16. The panel was unanimous in
The position of designated – or house – contractor on Broadway is one of divided allegiance and uncertain authority. In most instances the designated contractor was not the hiring agent for the show, yet most of the ongoing, day-to-day problems
A little more than three years ago, we at Local 802 began a discussion about the future of the AFM. Our primary concern was to maintain and increase our strength at the bargaining table for the Federation recording contracts, which