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Engineers Union?
Old 7th November 2005
  #1
Gear interested
 

Thread Starter
Question Engineers Union?

Hello everyone, and thanks so much for doing this forum, It's a great chance for peole like myself starting out in the audio industry to get feedback from some of the best in the business.


I was wondering what you all think about the idea of having a union for audio engineers which opperates more like the AFM (your feelings for the AFM in particular aside). I know we have AES, but it's more of a professional society for sharing ideas than a Union. I ask this because I have heard a few Engineers complain about the pitfalls of this profession such as: working 12 hour days with barely a lunch break 7 days a week , no health insurance, no pension, no pre defined pay scale, no lawyers on call for when clients simply refuse to pay . So I guess my question is do you guys think that an engineers union structured similarly to the AFM would help or hurt our profession?


Thanks,

Alex Finlay V
Nashville TN
Old 9th November 2005
  #2
Lives for gear
 
pounce's Avatar
 

i'm an IA house sound engineer, and you are getting at part of the reason why. the studio work i do is still not union related, and there is more flex on the rate negotiations there. but i've always wondered how freelance ae's are ever able to retire. how do other folks deal with insurance, retirement, and things like slow/no pay clients. maybe the studio owners can retire, but the freelance guys must have a tougher time.
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Old 11th November 2005
  #3
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Al Schmitt's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by AFinlayV
Hello everyone, and thanks so much for doing this forum, It's a great chance for peole like myself starting out in the audio industry to get feedback from some of the best in the business.


I was wondering what you all think about the idea of having a union for audio engineers which opperates more like the AFM (your feelings for the AFM in particular aside). I know we have AES, but it's more of a professional society for sharing ideas than a Union. I ask this because I have heard a few Engineers complain about the pitfalls of this profession such as: working 12 hour days with barely a lunch break 7 days a week , no health insurance, no pension, no pre defined pay scale, no lawyers on call for when clients simply refuse to pay . So I guess my question is do you guys think that an engineers union structured similarly to the AFM would help or hurt our profession?


Thanks,

Alex Finlay V
Nashville TN
Hi Alex, With the Independent engineer in vogue at this time it's impossible to get a union going. There is no one to inforce any rules or take care of paper work for medical bills etc. The only place I know that has a union is Capitol Studios and they do well with it. They pay well and they all have medical but they have a label behind them. I think Sony in N Y has one also.But none of the independent studios have one and I think having a union would put those studios out of business.Most studios barely get by as it is. I know it;s tough working 7 days a week and for little money but if you have a real passion for what you do you can rise above that and make pretty good money once you get in demand. Anyway to answer your question, I think it would put some of the smaller mom and pop studios out of business. Al
Old 11th November 2005
  #4
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jenkel16's Avatar
 

Why do you feel that it would put them out of business, Al?

Graham
Old 12th November 2005
  #5
Moderator emeritus
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jenkel16
Why do you feel that it would put them out of business, Al?

Graham
Have you priced health insurance fora small business recently?
Old 14th November 2005
  #6
Lives for gear
 

Hey Al..weren't Bones Howe, someone else who's name I never got and you the first three Engineers (L.A. during the '60's) that started working outside of the union at that time..and thus in effect start the ball rolling to what we have today?
Old 15th November 2005
  #7
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sdevino's Avatar
 

The only way studio owners get to retire is if the real estate they purchased for the studio appreciates enough by the time they sell the business.

Freelance engineers retire by either being good enough to be in demand and get paid well for a long time or by having another job.

The problem is there are not enough customers willing to pay enough money to employ so many engineers. You dont just get benefits because you have a union. There has to be enough income to support it as well.
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