Monday, September 29, 2008

No Action on "Nuclear Option" Resolution

We have heard that the IEB took no action on the resolution to decertify the RMA at its September 2008 meeting.

Whether this means the resolution is "tabled," or even "withdrawn," the door is now open for negotiations to begin to heal the rift between the RMA and the AFM.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

What Happened in Vegas Didn't Stay in Vegas

The formal language of the IEB's threat to decertify the RMA, adopted secretly in Las Vegas in June 2008, is revealed:

"WHEREAS the Recording Musicians Association is raising funds for the expressed propose of filing lawsuits against the Federation, and…"

Stop. The fund raising, as Tom Lee himself has noted, is being done through an entity incorporated under California law in 2006 by an individual named Rafael Rishik. Not the RMA.
"WHEREAS recent pending litigation by members of the Recording Musicians Association has had a demonstrable adverse impact upon the Federation, and…"

Litigation by members of the RMA. They are also members of the AFM. They are also members of AFM Locals. Three individual members have filed suit, not the RMA.
"WHEREAS it appears the Recording Musicians Association is planning to initiate immediate additional litigation against the Federation, and…"

It is certainly possible that if the AFM loses its current case against three of its members, other members privy to the "promulgated agreements" may sue. (The plaintiff in these actions will not be the RMA, but rather individual members.) If a federal court exposes the nonsense of "promulgated agreements," the AFM will be shown to be in the wrong. Instead of decertifying the RMA, crucifying one of the most viable categories of musicians, and bringing the AFM to ruin, why not simply correct the wrong?
"WHEREAS there is an admitted relationship between the Recording Musicians Association and the Professional Musicians Guild, a labor union whose officers are RMA members and that has sought to compete with the Federation by seeking to collectively bargain with electronic media employers for the services of musicians, and…"

If an RMA member has a relationship with the PMG, how does that relationship bind the RMA itself? Our fallacious IEB is pronouncing the RMA guilty by association.
"WHEREAS the Recording Musicians Association has embarked upon a course of conduct that threatens the well-being of the Federation, therefore…"

What the AFM intended when it granted conference status to the RMA and its affiliates was to hear the needs of this group of musicians, to allow direct participation, to submit its input to collective bargaining agreements that directly affect each participating musician, and to exercise their right to ratify contracts that they work under.

Tom Lee's administration has embarked upon a course of conduct since 2001 that will destroy the intelligent purposes of the conference system, and cut off actual members who contribute artistically and financially to the AFM.
"BE IT RESOLVED the International Executive Board consider terminating the status of the Recording Musicians Association as an official AFM Player Conference, and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the question of terminating the RMA's player conference status be addressed as soon as possible but no later than the September 2008 IEB meeting."

I speak directly to the IEB, who will take up this "resolution" on Tuesday, September 23.

Look carefully at all these “facts," their sources, how they were received. Examine their veracity and truthfulness and relevance. Ask yourself what will occur if you vote to decertify and what could occur if you vote against.

I believe that you instinctively know, as we all do, that this debacle is the result of a failure in communication between the President and the RMA. Solve the problem not by punishing, but by rectifying and reconciling differences. Seek common ground to attain compromise and solutions that will enhance understanding. Don't destroy our members and our treasury, but embrace, understand and serve our members for the betterment of the AFM.