**Hollywood, CA (October 11, 2007)** – With free legal assistance from the National Right to Work Foundation, a Symphony on the Glen musician filed a federal charge today against the American Federation of Musicians (AFM) Local 47 responding to an ugly union campaign of intimidation, coercion, and retaliation against employees exercising their legal rights.
Sai-Ly Acosta, a violinist for the film score orchestra, filed a federal unfair labor practice charge at the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) after union officials enforced an illegal policy requiring all musicians to be “in good standing” with the union in order to practice in a union-owned rehearsal facility used by their orchestra. Union officials informed Acosta, who is not a formal member of the AFM union, she and others would be arrested if they attended rehearsal tonight.
Of course, musical groups require that all musicians, as a condition of employment, participate in certain rehearsals – many occurring in facilities owned by AFM Local 47. However, Acosta and several of her coworkers exercised their legal right to resign from formal union membership and pay a reduced fee to cover the cost of union bargaining. As a result, union officials are attempting to unlawfully prevent her from practicing with the orchestra. Union operatives have harassed and intimidated the dissenting musicians, calling them “scabs.”
“These thuggish actions by union officials are both despicable and illegal,” said Stefan Gleason, vice president of the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation. “But this union intimidation is all too common in states like California where there is no Right to Work law on the books.”
Under the Foundation-won Supreme Court decision in *Communications Workers v. Beck* and subsequent NLRB rulings, union officials cannot require formal union membership or the payment of union dues unrelated to collective bargaining as a condition of employment. Employees are also entitled to notice of their right to refrain from union membership, an independent audit of union expenditures, and notice of their right to object to paying for non-bargaining activities, such as union political activities.
Because Acosta and other musicians exercised their legal rights under *Beck*, they have been unlawfully targeted for retaliation. The unfair labor practice charge will be reviewed by the NLRB's Regional Director who will decide whether to take the union to trial before a federal labor judge.
“No one should be forced to pay dues to an unwanted union just to get or keep their job,” continued Gleason.