Tag Archives: recent news

US Postal Workers Support Canada Post Workers

About 50 members of the American Postal Workers Union and National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) gathered in front of Canada’s Washington, DC, embassy to protest the Trudeau government’s decision to force the Canadian workers back to work. A dispute over wages, benefits, and job security for the Canada Post workers culminated with a series of temporary rotating walkouts that began in October and continued into the busy holiday season. Ottawa passed legislation in November that required workers to resume their duties and appointed a mediator to arbitrate an end to the dispute.

“The collective bargaining process is a foundation of every union,” says NALC Executive Vice President Brian Renfroe. “We’re fighting for our collective bargaining rights here that are under attack; they’re doing the same thing. I think all they want is a fair process, and we’re here to stick with them in solidarity.”

2019 Convention General Information

Per Diem & Hotel Allowance, Rules for Resolutions, Candidate Statements, Certificate of Recognition, and Memorial Service

The 101st Convention of the American Federation of Musicians will be held in Las Vegas, Nevada, beginning Monday, June 17, and concluding Thursday, June 20.

The Westgate Hotel & Casino (3000 Paradise Road; Las Vegas) will serve as both the official headquarters and the site of the convention’s business sessions. Delegate registration will be Sunday, June 16, 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., and Monday, June 17, 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.

Please note, local delegate entitlement will be based upon the number of members reported by the local as of December 31 immediately preceding the convention. [see: Article 17; Section 4 (a),(b),(c),(d)] 

Convention Per Diem and Hotel Allowance

The per diem allowance and the hotel allowance for one delegate from each local, from each players’ conference, for each diversity delegate from locals merged in accordance with the AFM’s civil rights policy, and for committee members required to attend prior to the first convention session are paid from the Federation’s funds. The per diem allowance shall be $50 for each full or fraction of a day during which the convention is in official session and the delegate attends, and for one day of travel to the convention city. The period for which hotel accommodations are paid consists of each day the convention is in official session and the delegate attends, plus one day for delegates designated above.

There will be general hotel reservation information available to local officers and delegates prior to the June 2019 AFM convention. Please be reminded, delegates shall be responsible for: (1) providing necessary credit card information to the Westgate Hotel at the time of reservation; (2) payment of your hotel bill at the conclusion of your stay.

Following the convention, those delegates whose accommodations are to be paid by the AFM will be required to submit a copy of their hotel bill to the AFM for appropriate reimbursement.

How to Introduce Resolutions

Delegates, locals, or conferences wishing to introduce resolutions for consideration during the convention must forward same in writing to the office of the AFM Secretary-Treasurer, postmarked or electronically transmitted no later than March 1. All electronically transmitted resolutions must also be submitted by mail, postmarked no later than the next business day. Resolutions must bear the signatures of all sponsoring delegates, or the signatures of authorized officers of sponsoring locals or conferences.

In order to expedite their preparation, resolutions submitted must be typed and double-spaced. The local number of the proponent(s) should be indicated under the signature (hand signed and printed). In accordance with Article 18, Section 4(b) of the AFM Bylaws, any resolution or measure to amend the provisions of the AFM Bylaws shall be cast in the following form for presentation to the convention:

(1) Language and punctuation to be deleted from an existing provision shall be set forth in full and enclosed by square brackets and the deleted material shall be struck through, as [—]. This requirement shall not apply to a proposal to repeal an entire section, which may be done simply by specific reference. A resolution prepared on a typewriter on which square brackets are not available may use double parentheses as a substitute for the square brackets.

(2) New words added to an existing provision shall be underlined.

(3) The deletions shall precede the new matter; e.g., “…in the sum of [$50] $100.”

(4) Entire new sections need not have all words underlined but shall be preceded by the designation NEW SECTION. in upper case followed by a period and the designation underlined, including the period.

Notice to Candidates Seeking International Office

In accordance with Article 19, Section 2 of the AFM Bylaws: “Candidates seeking election to any international office may forward to the AFM Secretary-Treasurer, postmarked or electronically transmitted not later than April 1 of the convention year, a statement certifying their intention of seeking election for the particular office and a campaign statement that shall not exceed 100 words. All electronically transmitted resumes must also be submitted by mail, postmarked no later than the next business day. The AFM Secretary-Treasurer shall publish the names and campaign statements received from candidates in the International Musician prior to the convention.

Recognition to AFM Delegates

The AFM will award a Certificate of Recognition to those delegates who have served as convention delegates for a minimum of 25 years, when the delegate’s local requests such recognition.

Locals should submit the names of eligible delegates to the AFM Secretary-Treasurer no later than April 1, stating the number of conventions attended. Please advise if the recipient(s) is to be mailed the certificate or if it is to be presented at the convention.

Names of delegates honored for the first time will be printed in the International Musician.

Memorial Service

The Federation recognizes former delegates who have died since the last AFM Convention during the Memorial Service. Names of deceased delegates should be mailed to the AFM Secretary-Treasurer’s office no later than June 1. Please indicate that the individual’s name should be included in the Memorial Service.

Baltimore AFL-CIO Donates Food and Toys for the Holidays

Each holiday season, Baltimore area AFL-CIO unions donate money to buy food and toys for our brothers and sisters who have fallen on hard times. Volunteers from various locals gathered at Baltimore Metropolitan Council December 17 to assemble 230 boxes of food to be distributed to both union and community members who are in need. It is amazing to see how well the volunteers work together, without direction, to make short work of this massive undertaking.  (L to R) Local 40-543 (Baltimore, MD) volunteers Susan Benac (Annapolis Symphony Orchestra) and Lisa Steltenpohl (Baltimore Symphony Orchestra).

“Bohemian Rhapsody” Is Most Streamed Song of the 20th Century

On December 10, “Bohemian Rhapsody” became the most-streamed song of the 20th century. The song, initially released as a single by Queen on October 31, 1975, has seen over 1.6 billion streams globally. Universal Music Group has used all registered streams on global streaming services such as Spotify, Apple Music, Deezer and music video streams on YouTube to come to this conclusion.

“Bohemian Rhapsody” was Queen’s first Top 10 hit in the US and remained at #1 in the U.K. for nine consecutive weeks, the record at the time. It is also the only song to ever top the U.K. charts twice at Christmas. Queen has seen a lot of success as a group, and has sold more than 300 million albums worldwide.

The recently released Bohemian Rhapsody film has further emphasized the music of Queen and increased demand for it. Five weeks after its initial showing, the movie took in $600 million in box office sales, making it the highest grossing musical biography film in history. Rami Malek, who starred as the late Freddie Mercury, was nominated for a Golden Globe for his performance and is expected to receive an Oscar this coming January.

Sphinx Program to Empower Arts Leadership

Empowered by a $1.5 million grant from The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the Detroit-based Sphinx Organization is launching a new initiative, Sphinx LEAD (Leaders in Excellence, Arts & Diversity), to inspire and cultivate minority arts leaders. Beginning January 2019, in Sphinx LEAD’s first two-year term, it will serve 10 Black and Latinx arts leaders who are looking to advance their personal and professional growth in order to produce impact in their communities and in the arts field as a whole. Each Sphinx LEAD participant will design a growth plan, receive ongoing personalized coaching and mentorship, and attend leadership retreats hosted by major cultural organizations. 

Funds Dry Up for Largest Chamber Music Competition

Announced in October 2015, the M-Prize chamber music competition will not continue in 2019. For three years, M-Prize, with its $100,000 grand prize, was the biggest chamber music competition in the world. Launched by Sphinx Organization founder and former University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre & Dance (SMTD) Dean Aaron Dworkin, the competition was based at the University of Michigan school. In its inaugural year, the event received 172 applications from 13 countries and distributed $199,000 in price money. Dworkin resigned as SMTD dean last spring and the school said that it regrets that financial support for the competition cannot be sustained.

Russia Locked Him Up but He’s Still Directing in Switzerland

Kirill Serebrennikov, a leading stage and film director in Russia, is currently directing a production of Mozart’s Così fan tutte from 1,400 miles away. Under house arrest on embezzlement charges since August 2017, Serebrennikov has been sending videos to the cast and crew in Zurich to direct the production.

Serebrennikov isn’t allowed to use the Internet and can only converse with his lawyer, but does have access to a computer. Recorded rehearsals are sent to his lawyer who puts them onto a flash drive and passes them to Serebrennikov. The director then records his thoughts and his lawyer picks them up and passes them back to his assistant, Evgeny Kulagin.

“We chose this unusual path to support an artist in trouble,” states Zurich Opera Artistic Director Andreas Homoki. “It’s an extraordinary situation for us all,” says conductor Cornelius Meister. “But we all know that we have the opportunity to be part of something that people will talk about for years to come.”

On November 4, the show premiered at the Opernhaus Zurich.

Music Pirating Still Common Among One-Third of World’s Population

A customer insight report from the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) recently found that 38% of consumers are still obtaining music illegally. Based on a study conducted by the IFPI in which they surveyed 16 to 64-year-olds in 18 countries, the top three forms of copyright infringement are stream-ripping (32%), downloads through cyberlockers or P2P (23%), and search engine findings (17%).

Why are consumers still pirating music? According to the IFPI study, stream-rippers are pirating music because they want to listen to music offline without having to pay for a premium subscription. As technology advances, pirating music will remain a common way for consumers to acquire music.

A study at University of Nevada Las Vegas, under direction of psychology researcher Joanne Ullman, tested 220 undergraduate college students’ reactions to a variety of words, phrases, and symbols. The study found that possible government surveillance and threats towards privacy were just as effective as large fines, and pairing the two was exceedingly effective. Ullman hopes that this study provides options to help fight music piracy and educate the public about it.

Auschwitz Music Brought to Life By U-M Professor and Students

Last summer Patricia Hall, a music theory professor at the University of Michigan, traveled to the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum to take a look at their music manuscripts. She came across a piece that had been arranged and performed by prisoners in the Auschwitz I men’s orchestra.

The piece, one of the few works arranged and performed at Auschwitz to remain in tact, is titled “The Most Beautiful Time of Life” (Die Schönste Zeit des Lebens). It features a light foxtrot feel and is based on a song by German film composer Franz Grothe.

Back in Michigan, Hall met with U-M Contemporary Directions Ensemble conductor Professor Oriol Sans, and they decided to make a professional recording of the piece. “This recording is highly significant,” states Hall. “We’re bringing this work to life, hearing it as closely as possible to what it would have sounded like at Auschwitz I in 1943.”

In October, the recording was taken at the U-M Duderstadt Center. It will become part of the collection at the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum. On November 30, a live performance of the piece was given at Hankinson Hall on U-M’s North Campus.

Two of the three prisoners who arranged the piece have been identified by Hall based on prisoner numbers on the manuscript. Antoni Gargul was released from Auschwitz in 1943 and Maksymilian Pilat, who was moved to Sachsenhausen in 1944, and played in the Baltic Philharmonic after the war.

Symphony Brings Together Music, Science, Education and Art

On October 31 and November 1, the Hawai’i Symphony Orchestra (HSO) performed four concerts at the Neal S. Blaisdell Center that brought together science, education, art, and music. HSO musicians are members of Local 677 (Honolulu, HI). The performances were a result of a collaborative effort between faculty from the UH Mānoa Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Management, Music Department, College of Education, UH West O’ahu, Windward Community College, UH Academy for Creative Media System, the Bishop Museum, and the Hawai’i Symphony Orchestra.

Prior to the performances, students in grades 4-12 had the opportunity to learn about native birds of Hawaii and their biology, ecology, and the importance of conservation. UH music education students also visited the younger students and taught them a hula dance and demonstrated instruments to prepare for the concert.

Melissa Price, project coordinator and assistant professor of natural resources and environmental management at the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa, explained the importance of educating students about the matter, “Working with children is a great way to go for training up the next up the next generation of people who can have the toolsets and the passion to solve the really big problems like we’re facing with endangered species in Hawai’i.”