[Dixielandjazz] Summer days on the DJML and the AFM

Dave Hanson jazzdude at bellsouth.net
Thu Jul 15 10:46:13 PDT 2004

The Musicians Pension plan currently has 1.4 BILLION in effect. Union publications publish these facts on a monthly or bi-weekly basis. I suspect if you don't know about it,  you aren't a Union member.

I had also asked for the other side of the coin, or positive feedback from Union membership. I knew going in, that some on this list would be totally negative about the Union, and that's OK, but
the reason for even bringing this subject up, was to invite stimulating conversation. Some has been, the rest, what we all expected, when the word Union is mentioned.   


Dave Hanson

  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: TCASHWIGG at aol.com 
  To: jazzdude at bellsouth.net 
  Sent: Thursday, July 15, 2004 1:33 PM
  Subject: Re: [Dixielandjazz] Summer days on the DJML and the AFM 

  In a message dated 7/15/04 10:04:00 AM Pacific Daylight Time, jazzdude at bellsouth.net writes:

    The musicians union isn't for everyone, but the pension plan is the best
    kept secret in the world,

  And who's fault is it that it is the World's beswt kept Secret,  Wouldn't it be nice if they had told and helped many of their former members in the process of participation.

  I think it might be a good plan, but with fewer and fewer members contributing into it over the past thirty years,. I am afraid it may soon be discovered that it will suffer the same fate as that of the Soc. Sec. Administration that they keep telling us is going Broke and does not have enough money to pay all the folks that are about to try and collect it.

  With all the perpetuyal unemployment for the masses of musicians how could it be expected to survive for more than a few that already draw down from it.

  My experience with it in San Francisco was that they made it so complicated that for any traveling member or band who worked in any other jurisdiction other than their own did not have to pay into it.  Instead they could collect the  at the time 4% from the employer and disburse it amongst the musicians individually.   Of course 90% of them opted for the extra cash if they were even actually getting Union Scale, which many of them were not.

  Did I mention that our entire board and staff in S.F. were Of Italian Decent and were stauch members in the Family.   The story Gunter related about the bandleader happened to me more than once and I actually recorded their telephone conversations, and took the tape to a Union Meeting that was the most well attended one they had ever had since I campaigned for all the memebrs that I knew to show up for a real surprise and an answer to why they got no calls fromt he Union for work..

  The Cocka hit the fan Big Time, I got Black Listed and the Union took out a full page add in the musicians news ( which they ran for 1 year)  telling all musicians not to work for me or my booking agency which was according to the advertisement a NON - UNION  affiliated Booking Agency.     Now all the time they were doing this there was an AFof M Union Booking Liscence  Signed by the President of the AFof M Framed and hanging on the wall in full view of any musician who walked in my office.

  Since I booked almost every gig in the area at the time, collected their work dues and pensioin contributions and levied fines against any of my players I had become the best friend they every had, but they hated the fact that I was getting all the good gigs, except the Symphony.  I stopped collecting anything for them, and told them to go collect it themselves from the individual bandleaders and sidemen and earn their paychecks for a change.

  I also sued them for One Million Dollars and won, I took no money but made them run a full page ad inthe Musicains News for another Year admitting they were wrong and that all musicians in the jurisdiction  were free to and even encouraged to work with me.

  The president at the time in San Francisco, was "POPS" Kennedy, the token Irish Front Guy for all the Italian Guys really in charge.   He was actually a decent guy but a puppet.

  so being a member for that reason alone is worth

    the price of admission !



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