Saturday, February 14, 2009

You Don't Have To Go Home, But You Can't Stay Here

A few weeks ago, the IEB held a "fact-finding" meeting which received ancillary leaders of the RMA. RMA President Ayling was invited...but was refused admittance.

Motion Picture and Television labor negotiations are scheduled for February 23, 2009. RMA President Phil Ayling should be invited and attend on behalf of RMA members who are affected by the outcome of these negotiations.

Obviously there is inherent willingness by Phil Ayling to discuss other issues that the IEB may wish to discuss, i.e. settlement of lawsuits.

As a justification for these continuing boycotts, Tom Lee and the IEB regurgitated the unfounded and patently ridiculous charge that the RMA President has instituted "frivolous lawsuits."

Aren't the United States District Court judges presiding over the existing two lawsuits, Parmenter v. AFM and Rishik v. AFM, better equipped to determine whether the lawsuits are frivolous? If Parmenter is so frivolous, why is it scheduled to be heard by a jury in June of 2009? Why are the AFM attorneys busy drafting the AFM's answer in Rishik, which has the potential of being a "class action" on behalf of all RMA members with the same issues.

Tom Lee's agenda of the past few years forced members to sue. No dialogue and no settlement meant no other choice for aggrieved members.

Whether or not these lawsuits are successful, the cost to all members will be horrendous. Tom Lee's closed-door policy has imposed on all AFM members the responsibility of projected payment for the legal bills, and potential money damages if the plaintiffs prevail.

I can hear it now at Convention 2010: the IEB in its infinite wisdom deems that because of these "frivolous lawsuits" the burden must be borne by the members, and the only way to pay these legal expenses is to increase the per capita tax for the next three years. $15, then $25, then $35. We may be still in the midst of the inevitable appeals by Convention 2013.

I believe there is a majority of the IEB members who can rationally conclude that to continue as directed will only lead to financial chaos for all and a divided AFM.

The option to discuss settlement is on the table and the time is NOW!

No comments: