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16 February 2008


Todd Weeks

The health care crisis in this country is indeed deplorable. Local 802, AFM has been struggling along with jazz musicians for decades to try and find ways to secure health and pension benefits for performers who work in area clubs.

Last year, the union was successful in eliminating sales tax on jazz clubs with the expectation that the owners would pass the savings on to the musicians in the form of health benefits. We are still seeking the co-operation of the clubs to make this happen, and we applaud those entities that have agreed to provide for the health and welfare of their musicians--this group includes the New School; Jazz@Lincoln Center, Highlights in Jazz, and many leaders who provide for their side musicians through union agreements.

We have a long way to go to combat this intolerable situation, but a change is in the air--and the now's the time for us to take action to ensure that our voices are finally heard.

Our thoughts are with Mr. D'Angelo.

In Solidarity,

Todd Bryant Weeks
Jazz Rep
Local 802, American Federation of Musicians

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