Archives: June 2003

06/16/03 Musicians Receive Strike Fund Benefits

Members of the Florida Philharmonic Orchestra will receive eight weeks of strike fund benefits, courtesy of the American Federation of Musicians Symphony-Opera Strike Fund.

The Florida Philharmonic Orchestra suspended operations and filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy on May 9, leaving 81 musicians, as well as numerous staff personnel, unemployed. The AFM Strike Fund, which was created in 1970 and of which Florida Philharmonic musicians are participants, provides direct payments to musicians in the event of work stoppages such as strikes, lockouts, and bankruptcies.

06/13/03 Local 655 Moves Offices

On June 16, Local 655 officially resumed operations in its new office space. The new location is near Pembroke Road and SR441, just southwest of the former location.

In addition to realizing significant savings in rent, allowing more funds to be spent assisting members and providing numerous services, the new location also has adequate space for hosting membership meetings. Members can now meet in Local 655's new "home" rather than at various locations throughout the Hollywood area, as they have done in the past.

06/11/03 Black Tie Files Union Contract

Local 655 is pleased to announce that a union contract will be filed for the Black Tie July 4 concert. This was accomplished due to the solidarity of Local 655 members, who insisted that a contract be filed before they would agree to perform.

A contract had been filed for the previous Black Tie July 4 concert in 2002. At that performance, there was a dispute over whether a recording had been made and whether additional payments were due to musicians. Local 655 members realize the benefits of the protection offered by union contracts, not only for unauthorized recording, but for disputes over wages and other terms of employment. A filed contract also enables pension contributions to be made to the AFM-Employers' Pension Fund on musicians' behalf.

06/01/03 Legislative Roundup

Thanks go to Joseph Lieberman (D-CT) and Rick Santorum (R-PA) for their work on the CARE Act which recently passed the Senate and is being discussed in the House. The act will help nonprofit organizations by giving incentives for making charitable contributions, including IRA Rollovers, Nonitemizer Deductions, and others.

Florida to Cut Arts Funding

By the time you read  this, the state of Florida will have made significant cuts in its support of the arts. $28 million given to arts organizations in the past, including $500,000 for Arts in Education, has been reduced to less than $7 million, and arts trust funds have been eliminated. And Florida is not alone...many states are slashing if not eliminating arts funding. In a time when arts are helping to heal the nation, it is also becoming more difficult for those organizations to survive. Voice your support of the arts to your representatives! If you need to know how to contact them, please call us!

06/01/03 Florida Philharmonic Closes its Doors

It is said that people do not appreciate what they have until they loose it. At least the 1300 audience members at the FPOs final concert at Spanish River on May 9 knew what they were about to loose, as they continued and continued applauding in hopes of keeping the musicians on stage for at least a few symbolic minutes longer.

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06/01/03 That Union Thing

Americans Want Unions!

49% of people are dissatisfied with their jobs...with layoffs and reductions theres more pressure on people to produce more...the average CEO pay is 500 times that of the average worker...corporate accounting scandals abound...61% of Oklahomans think the one-year old Right to Work law has done nothing to improve the economy...its no wonder workers want unions (58% of workers age 18 to 34 would say yes).

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06/01/03 Symphonic Shorts

Symphonic Media Summit

Responding to the need for clear and direct communication among those most affected by symphonic recording issues, representatives from the AFM and ICSOM and ROPA orchestras convened in Chicago on January 13, 2003 for a historic "meeting of the minds."

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06/01/03 Recording Rap

The recording department has been extremely busy with Julio Iglesias, Ricky Martin, and Chayanne projects, just to name a few. The commercial department figures are also up from last year. Matt Allen at the AFM West Coast had e-mailed me the AFM Transfer of Rights Agreement and I in turn e-mailed it to Del Rivero Messianu and Accentmarketing Ad Agencies as they use this agreement quite frequently.

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06/01/03 Official Business

Have You Paid Your Semiannual Dues??

Payments are due in July and are subject to late fees or reinstatement charges if paid after July 31. Please check your mailing label for your current amount due (including work dues) or call the office.

Check your mailing label for your current balance as of the mailing date. Thanks!

Were Moving!

NEW ADDRESS (effective 6/16/03):

5861 SW 21 Street, Hollywood FL 33023

Phone and Fax numbers remain the same:

PHONE: 954/925-1996 FAX: 954/921-1115

We will be moving on June 13-17. Please be patient if you have difficulty reaching us during the move. Thank you!

NOTE: New Late Fee Policy Effective July 1

Please note that effective July 1, all delinquent work dues over 90 days late will be subject to a fine of 1% per month from the original due date. These fines do not apply to annual dues. Please call the Local if you have any questions. Thank you!

In Memoriam: Sam Faso, 83

Sam, a member of Local 655 since 1946 and also a member of Local 802, was a veteran of WWII and an alumni of the US Army Band. He had performed with and for many celebrities and dignitaries, including Tony Randall and Cary Grant. He is survived by two sons, a stepdaughter, eleven grandchildren, and one great-grandchild.

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06/01/03 Treasurer's Report



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06/01/03 President's Report

Florida Philharmonic Files Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Im sure everyone has heard the news about the FPOs bankruptcy filing. As of the May 21st hearing at the Federal Courthouse, we have agreed to allow the FPO 30 days from May 14th to seek new leadership that may be in a position to resurrect the orchestra. By the time you read this article we will be scheduled to return to Federal Court and will have a better idea of whether or not any individual or entity has stepped forward with a reorganization plan. In the meantime, we are working with the Federation to get whatever assistance is available to help our fellow musicians in this trying time. Please offer whatever assistance you can to any of the members of the orchestra. While the cause of the current problem may be debated, there is no debating the fact that this is a human tragedy for the FPO musicians and their families

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