LA Music Contracting Business Being Harrassed by AFM

Recently, The American Federation of Musicians (AFM) Local 47 sent out an alert to its membership that states misinformation and defamatory untruths about CMG Music Recording LLC. Further, they posted this on social media and sent a letter to all of the major recording studios in the greater Los Angeles area. This harassment must stop! CMG Music Recording, LLC, operates a fully legitimate musician contracting business here in Los Angeles and is not subject to union rules, bylaws, or jurisdiction.

These allegations go directly against our foundational values and mission statement. The union is trying to undermine the incredible progress we’ve made in bringing work back to the greater Los Angeles area. CMG Music Recording, LLC, is a woman-owned business built by musicians for musicians. We have been professional musicians for over 35 years and have experienced firsthand how difficult it is to survive on union work alone. We have watched how the global marketplace has changed over the years, as well as watched the recording work leave town little by little until we have now lost over 85% of the work to other states and overseas. We are working diligently to reverse this damage before it is too late! We do not want more studios to sit vacant or worse, close permanently.

Our rates are competitive with other contractors across the nation. In fact, our rates are above AFM scale. These rates were calculated using the current AFM union scale, adding in the appropriate monies for Health & Welfare, Pension and work dues, and an hourly front-end buyout rate. Musicians are encouraged to invest these monies as they see fit. We also offer superior working conditions by holding our sessions in remarkable studios throughout Southern California. We offer a front-end buyout to our clients so they are better able to work within the constraints of their own budgets and composer packages. This front-end buyout also fairly compensates the musicians for future use of the recorded material.

CMG Music Recording, LLC, contracts musicians for both union and non-union engagements. We are able to do this legally because we are Fi-core/Beck status and protected by the United States Supreme Court ruling, in Communications Workers of America v. Beck, 487 U.S. 735 (1988). So, my question to John Acosta, President of Local 47 is, “Who are you truly hurting when you compel your membership to blacklist a contracting company like CMG Music Recording (CMG)? Do you want your members to refuse work on CMG’s union engagements? Do you want your members to inform on their fellow musicians who play on CMG’s union engagements?” Blacklisting CMG not only hurts your members and your Local, it also hurts dues-paying non-members. Please tell me, who does this help in the end?

This bullying must stop. There is plenty of room for music contracting companies such as CMG Music Recording, LLC to operate peacefully alongside the AFM. The working musicians of Los Angeles deserve it.


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