Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Union emails

Michael writes:
Here is my take on the matter:
Chaim got started booking gigs for Evenal. (3 guys who could play a wedding but at that time could not get work with the 'reguler ' bands. They were willing to work for a pittance just to get work. Isn't that ok? The other guys they hired were paid scale+ but they still could pull off a 5 piece band for 1500.) After they got busy chaim figured it was time to start booking some stuff on his own. To my knowledge everyone who works for him demands and gets paid at least union scale.
A reader (if you want attribution, let me know) writes:
I am not keen for this discussion to take place, because many people who are affected by the Union, both positively and negatively, are often unequipped to put aside their prejudices from either the left or the right, and often the discussion of these issues turns into a yelling match. In addition, many of the participants are not old enough or in the business long enough to have an informed perspective on what the Union has until now accomplished for musicians, especially in NYC and LA. Suffice it to say that outside of the strong musicians Union locals, the freelance music field is a catch as catch can business, and there is no way to gauge of people are able to make a living as musicians.

The question can be divided in another way: Do you think a Union can help sidemen keep their wages and benefits stable and growing? And do you think THIS Union can do that? I think the answers to those questions will force people to think differently about the issue than they do now. I have much more to say, but Shabbos is coming.
I'm interested in hearing from more folks on this. Please send in your comments.