Thursday, October 29, 2009

Letter from Hal

From: Hal Espinosa

To: Harold Bradley, Bill Skolnik, Sam Folio, Ray Hair, Erwin Price, Billy Linneman, Joe Parente, Bob McGrew

Date: Tuesday, October 27, 2009, 12:53 PM

To AFM Officers and IEB,

I have tried not to get involved in Local 47 politics as well as AFM politics since I stepped down as President of Local 47. But I sit here and wonder which one of you will finally say something to Tom about his continued lack of respect and communication to some of the highest paying work dues members in the AFM. And we all know who I am talking about. Did anybody ask Tom why he hired a person with no experience in the music industry to run the AFM West Coast Office? You all know how difficult it is to decipher most AFM contracts and the importance of handling employer and musician issues when there is an immediate problem that needs a yes or no answer, now. That job shouldn’t be a job that you learn while trying to run it. When I left office there was still no current up to date printed AFM Agreement to use or give to a potential employer. Don't any of you care what is going on?

I saw Toms letter to Phil Ayling regarding the video tape negotiations. Tom knows how AFM negotiations have worked in the past, even before he became AFM President and yet he makes it sound like he is doing things the right way (his way or no way) and that he has taken care of everything that is required of him. He took it upon himself to appoint a recording rank and file musician from New York, therefore he can say a rank and file musician was at the negotiations representing the recording musicians around the Country. Then he informed the RMAC President, Greg Goodall, consistent with the terms that are described in the letter from AFM President Kenin, to the old Guild President, Cecil Read, and he informed Local 47 President, Vince Trombetta, in order to cover all the bases (I hate using that term). So now, he can say to anyone who asks, that he has fulfilled his AFM obligations, and he can tell Phil Ayling, that the AFM doesn't need his input or approval nor the RMA’s at the negotiations because there are already too many people attending. His second paragraph makes it sound to me that he's telling Phil to stay home. If anybody says anything to Tom about leaving the RMA out of the negotiations, he will just say he did everything required of him. What arrogance and selfishness. You have all been around AFM politics for a long time and you all know what Tom is doing by keeping the RMA (an AFM Players Conference) out of the loop. Are you all proud of the unity within the AFM? Who’s going to stand up and say something to Tom? Are you going to wait for more lawsuits or a mass exodus? Since Tom implemented his new race-to-the-bottom Video Game Agreement, the AFM has taken in less revenue last year than before its implementation. Remember how it was suppose to create more work for everyone around the Country, well that didn't happen, did it? It just lowered the bar. I could go on with more issues but I would just bore you.

Again, I have made a concerted effort to stay out of AFM politics hoping that someone on the board would stand up for themselves and quit being a yes man. But I can't sit around any longer and not say something about Tom's actions and your seemingly lack of caring. I know all of you and you know me, so you know that I still feel the pain when I see that things are still going downhill for the AFM. Individually you are all good people, but collectively, you are not making me very proud of knowing any of you. I am writing this email to you as a friend and not as an ex-IEB member, but know, that I feel that one or more of you, must sit down with Tom and look for positive changes in order to re-connect with the RMA before it's too late. Tom is taking you all down the wrong path. Open your eyes and Do something!


Hal Espinosa
AFM member since 1952

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