On November 13, 2018, AFM Local 47 posted a press release, sent an email and launched a social media campaign. As President of CMG Music Recording, I responded on our Facebook page (see my post at the bottom of this post). In addition, our attorney, Catherine A. Cavella, Esq., also responded. Below is her post. If you have any questions or would like to make a statement about coercion, please contact me or Catherine Cavella, Esq.
— Post from Catherine A. Cavella, Esq. —
As an attorney for CMG Music Recording, LLC, I am compelled to comment on the AFM post that went out this afternoon (November 13, 2018).
AFM has been engaged in a campaign of misinformation and coercion aimed at discouraging musicians, employers and venues from doing business with CMG Music Recording.
One tactic they are using is creating the illusion that they are part of the U.S. government with the force of state or federal law behind them. This is not true. The American Federation of Musicians is a private collective-bargaining organization. The AFM is not a governmental agency, and their bylaws, rules and minimums are not the law. Neither the California Labor Commission nor the federal government enforces union rules. The union has no power over non-members.
Non-members of the union do not need to obey union bylaws and cannot be forced to obey these bylaws or be ejected from the union, which is the ultimate punishment the union can inflict. If you are Fi-Core/Beck, then you are actually a “dues-paying non-member,” meaning you do not need to obey union bylaws and cannot be ejected. The right to be a dues-paying non-member (meaning you can legally be hired to work on union contracts without being a member of the union) is your right under the United States Constitution, Communications Workers of America v. Beck, 487 U.S. 735 (1988).
CMG Music Recording, LLC, has a legal right to do what it is doing – bringing good work back to Los Angeles area musicians. The AFM has no legal right to prevent anyone from doing business with CMG Music Recording, LLC. And despite union rhetoric, there is nothing illegal about CMG Music Recording’s sessions.
If you have been the victim of AFM intimidation tactics as a result of doing business with CMG Music Recording, LLC, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org so we can take a statement from you.
—- Catherine A. Cavella, Esq., Attorney for CMG Music Recording, LLC